Monday,24 September, 2018
Current issue | Issue 1165, (19 - 25 September 2013)
Monday,24 September, 2018
Issue 1165, (19 - 25 September 2013)

Ahram Weekly

Amany Abdel-Moneim

Al-Ahram Weekly

It’s that time of year again. After the long, lazy, fun-filled days of summer, it’s back to the early mornings, worrying about schoolwork and fretting over ensuring healthy breakfasts and meals throughout the day for our children.
However, it is important when preparing for the first day of school to plan ahead. Children take their cue from their parents. If parents are calm, reassuring, optimistic and supportive, children will feel both confident and competent.
Children will experience separation anxiety and so will parents. Therefore, it is essential for parents to take the lead and not burden their children with their own anxieties.

Here are some expert tips to help parents get back into the back-to-school swing:

• Be honest with your children: Talk to them about their fears and listen with empathy. Children will tell you everything.
• Start a bedtime schedule in advance of school so that your child gets at least 10 hours of sleep at night. As an adult, we know how cranky we get when we are tired, and so do our children. Remember that they don’t have our coping skills.
• If attending a new school, try to visit your child’s school at least one week in advance. Make sure your child becomes familiar with classrooms, hallways and important offices, such as the principal’s and the nurse’s.
• Find out if there are any friends, relatives or neighbours in their class. Knowing a child and creating a buddy system makes the transition go more smoothly.
• Talk to the teacher, the nurse, the guidance counsellor and the principal in advance. Show both your interest and your goodwill. Tell them of any concerns you have in regard to your children’s health and apprise them of any learning problems in advance.
• A “safety first” attitude is a very important part of preparing for the first day of school. Young children should know their name, how to spell it, their telephone number and the number of a safe and responsible adult that is designated by their parents.
• Teach your child the proper way in advance to deal with bullies by reporting them to either a teacher or counsellor.
• Talk with your children about their feelings and invite them to participate in a conversation that gives them some sense of control. Never embarrass, discount or demean your children’s feelings. Ask them how they would like to be helped in this transition to make the first day of school a pleasant beginning.
• A little preparation before the big day can go a long way in easing your child’s transition back to school. It is important to be honest with your children and tell them you will miss them too and that they will like school because it will give them new and exciting experiences.
• Be sympathetic, compassionate and firm. Nurture your children, meet their needs and be reliable. You can’t spoil your children with love.

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