Back to School again...
Tips for parents to help steer their little school boys and girls through their BIG first day, but more importantly through the next few days, weeks and months. For all younger ones, as well as just new starters, the terms can feel relentless and exhausting so help to keep them fresh and ready to bounce into school.
Well in our case its back to school for oldest but starting school for the youngest. We said our teary goodbyes to our regular playgroups and activities (tears were me, not him) but now we are moving on and although I have been dreading this for a long time I can't say the same for him....he is hugely looking forward to it.
However, having been through the start-to-school loop once already I know it has a massive impact on them is so many ways.....not least their tiredness levels.
Some will cope better than others but its best to play safe and assume that even the most resilient sleepers will be finding the new environment, new friends, new teachers and new grown up rules exhausting in the beginning.
So, here are some tips to get our little schoolboys and girls through the early days.
1. BRING BEDTIME FORWARD by half an hour, even up to an hour if they are prone to getting tired easily. This gives them a chance to catch up and they will probably be ready for it.
2. KEEP WEEKENDS FAIRLY QUIET for the first few weeks...obviously normal life goes on after school starts but maybe it's not the best time for long hangouts at busy play places in those early days....just give them a chance to take it easy and relax if they need to.
3. RETURN OF THE NAP. Tired school starters may even want to do the odd nap at the weekend if they get the chance so restful weekends can accommodate that. Or they may even sleep later in the morning (yay). Let them do it if you possibly can, it’s all part of catching up.
4. TRY NOT TO GET TOO CAUGHT UP IN AFTER SCHOOL ACTIVITIES. This can be tougher to manage as they may have some they are already doing, or they have to go with older siblings. But try to avoid starting new ones...they have a lot of new things to contend with already even though they will probably be begging to try all of the gymnastics, football, dance and music clubs.
5. WATCH OUT FOR OVER-TIRED SIGNS. Disturbed sleeping, early rising, night-waking’s and even night terrors are all typical signs of over-tiredness so if you see any of these start to creep in then shift bedtimes even earlier again if you can. Over-tiredness becomes a negative cycle very quickly so act fast to get on top of it.
6. If you think your child is still very tired despite your best efforts it can be worth TALKING TO THEIR TEACHER. In the early days there is a lot of learning through play and teachers can help steer tired children to quieter activities if they can spot the tired moments.
And finally, GOOD LUCK to all the new starters (and teary parents) for September.