Summer is coming to a close and many parents are dreading the transition from summer fun to the routine of back to school.
Based on my crowded Facebook feed, many kids are already back in session, and many others will start within the next couple of weeks. (keep the pictures coming, love seeing them!).
Now is the time to focus on sleep tips for back to school.
Here are some tips to ease your way back into the swing of school (geared toward the preschooler and Kindergarten school age).
1) Talk about what’s going to happen in the school year:
If your child is older they may be a pro at getting back at it and seeing their school friends. But, if your child is slow to transition or has a little anxiety, it’s better to get them prepared for what’s to come in the school setting. Go visit your child’s school and if you can, try and meet the teachers.
Over the next week, talk about who is in your child’s class and what teachers they have. The names will start to sound familiar and your child will enjoy imagining themselves at school.
We are doing this right now with my 2.5 and 4.5 year old and it’s working like a champ. Each day we talk about the names of their teachers and ask them who their teachers are. They are excited to talk about the names with us.
We are building the excitement of the change.
2) Use empathy to alleviate anxiety:
If your child is not so sure that they want to go back to school – make sure to hear their concerns and empathize with the way that they are feeling. For example, if your child says I don’t like school. You can say “wow, that’s a really big feeling. what don’t you like?”
Once you acknowledge how they feel, you can turn it into something positive. “Do you like having snack at school? Do you like playing on the playground?” Get your child focused on the positive to help them feel secure going to school in the first place.
If this is your child’s first school experience, your teachers can make sure that you have the support to help ease the separation. Ask if you can stay in the room or nearby the first week of school (especially for younger children)
Just remember, it’s normal for your child not to run into the classroom with open arms and very age appropriate. And, if your child does have any issues with leaving you – this is not your teacher’s first rodeo, so they know that this will just be a little adjustment period.
3) Focus on sleep:
A good night’s rest will make the transition to school even better. Focus on the age-appropriate sleep needs that your child needs.
Preschoolers (3-5): 11-13 Hours
School Aged (5-7): 10-12 Hours
You may have to move your bedtime even earlier to meet the amount of sleep your child needs – but it can be done.
Just give yourself a long runway to get through your entire bedtime routine.
The sun is setting earlier, so make sure to use that to your advantage!
What are you looking most forward to now that your child is going back to school? What sleep tips do you have for back to school?