Hey mama! Can you believe our kiddos are headed back to school? I’m so excited for Isabelle as she’s officially going to TK… but wow, pre-school years flew.
How’s your heart? I know this time of year can be filled with so many mixed emotions. No matter what age our kids are… we’re filled with excitement, hope, but also feeling a little anxious (which is totally normal!). As parents we just want to feel like we’re doing enough and that our kids are resilient and of course, happy.
Sometimes all of these back-to-school reminders can bring up our own childhood feelings of anxiety. When we feel the jitters too, it’s a protective mechanism for our children. Just know that our kids are going to learn how to navigate the world and we’re here to be a safe place for their big feelings, mistakes, and life-lessons.
6 Tips for Back-To-School Jitters
1. Talk It Out
At times, I forget that Isabelle is experiencing everything for the first time. When I mentioned it was time to say goodbye to pre-school, she asked, ‘Why?’. I’m trying my best to explain things while creating a safe space for questions. Our kids may ask a lot of questions, but all we can do is listen attentively, validate all their emotions, answer the best we can, and provide reassurance. A lot of times, we want to say things like, ‘You’re okay” or “Don’t be scared“, but we can replace those words with “That’s a normal feeling to feel… we all get scared sometimes.” and “Just know that you’re safe and everyone feels anxious in the beginning. You’re not alone.” I’ve noticed it helps put Isabelle’s heart at ease (and mine!).
2. Routine is Everything
Summer can be filled with surprises, late nights, and trips. We all know that kids thrive on routine, because it provides stability and predictability. This is the time to incorporate consistent wake-up times, meal times, playtime, and bedtime. This will help them feel more prepared for the changes ahead.
Manifesting doesn’t just work for us; it works for our kids too. Help your child create positive experiences by guiding their imagination toward school and friends. Discuss the enjoyable activities, the friends they’ll make, and the exciting things they’ll learn. Encourage conversations about scenarios where someone might be sitting alone during lunch and explore ways they could approach that person to eat together. By visualizing and working through these situations, you’ll better prepare them for real-life situations. Bedtime stories and books about school can also be helpful!
4. Visit their School
We were lucky enough to go visit Isabelle’s new school playground a few times this summer. If there’s an orientation, definitely try to go. Familiarize your child with the environment, show them their classroom, and introduce them to teachers.
5. Stress Management
Our kids are still learning the tools in dealing with stress and emotions. Talk about how when you first started school, how you also felt a little anxious. We can share our own relaxation techniques and our kids can adapt and apply them in their own life. They can incorporate positive affirmations in the morning, deep breathing on the bus, drawing during free-time, physical activity on the playground, mindfulness while in the classroom, and having a comfort object with them. I also just ordered these daily affirmation cards from Love Powered Co and we love them so much! Isabelle is already sharing them with us each morning.
6. Prepare Together
I remember going shopping with my mom to get a Trapper Keeper (remember those!?), new supplies, and clothes. It definitely helps to shop for everything together. This involvement can foster a sense of excitement and ownership over the process… plus Isabelle already picks out her outfit each day. She’s full Miss independent!
I hope these tips help you as you enter into the new school year! My heart is with you and your family.
PS: I also put together some of what I’ve been ordering for fall!