In two short days the school year starts again. Yes, we are a very two short days away from lunch box packing, school drop offs and misplacing school uniform items. If you are a parent of a school aged child then you possibly have been covering books (top tip: schoolbook covers BEST THING EVER. Rolls of contact - never need to see you again in my life) and fishing out bananas from December school bags. Or perhaps like me, you'll leave that till the night before.
But there's a more important thing to do before school goes back. And that's to have a conversation with our kids about how they feel about the school year, what their goals are, their worries, what they are looking forward to and how we can support them this year.
If you haven't done this yet - make the time. It doesnt have to be a lengthy conversation or a serious and meaningful one. But a short chat often alerts us to helpful info, gets children thinking and reminds them that we are interested in their lives.
Can't think of what to ask? Here are some question ideas to get you thinking. Don't feel the need to cover all of these, and don't make it an interrogation. But asking just a few of these might really help your child - even more than not having a squished banana in their bag.
- What are you looking forward to about being in year X?
- What 3 friends are you most looking forward to catching up with in the first week?
- What kinds of books would you like to read this year?
- Is there anyone in your class this year you are worried about getting along with this year?
- How could you be even kinder to other kids at school this year?
- What 3 things you most like to pack in your lunch box this year?
- What can you do if you feel worried or upset about somehing at school this year?
- What's one with I can do differently as your mum/dad this year to help you have a great school year? Is there anything else?
- Are there any subjects you are worried about this year?
- What are three things you'd like to learn about this year?
- How do you think being in year X will be different from being in year Y?
- What's one thing from last year that you did that you'd like to change this year?
- Do you have any worries about your teacher this year?
- What do you think will be the best thing about your teacher this year?
- What's something you think you did well at school last year you'd like to do again this year?
- Is there anything I can do this year to help make homework more fun or easier for you
- Good luck with the coming week!
On the theme of back-to-school, our online resource Calm Kid Central has a helpful video and tip sheet for parents/carers called '6 important things families who have calmer "before school" mornings do regularly'. There are also videos and tip sheets for parents/carers who'd like further help around asking questions. To find out more, click below.
If you have any concerns about your child starting school again this year, or your child needs some help in managing worry, frustration or improving learning skills - feel free to give us a call on 8357 1711 to make an appointment. Medicare rebates available. Click here for more information about our counselling services.