If you’re the parent of a preschool child, you probably already know the drill. It’s Sunday night and your child is dragging their heels getting ready for bed. “But, I don’t want to go to school tomorrow.” Holidays are the worst. Children who suffer from anxiety can be greatly affected by the back to school blues, especially those who have trouble going back after the week-end. Holidays magnify the problem. Some children aren’t even able to enjoy their holiday break for dreading going back to class.
Know Your Child
How you handle your child’s return to nursery school greatly depends on your individual child. Is he a worrier? Is she one who balks but easily gets back in the groove once she’s there? Does your child have separation issues or any other underlying emotional problem?
Treasured Tips from Teachers and Other Parents
Once you have assessed your child and how his or her personality and emotional health fits into the picture, you can begin to come up with things you can do to help. Here are some suggested solutions from preschool parents and teachers:
1. Talk it out.
There is therapy in talking things out, especially when you are a wee one. Encourage your preschool child to tell you of the dread they feel about going back to school. Be careful not to tell them how to feel or how they should feel. Let them express their true feelings. If they have a difficult time expressing or identifying their feelings, have them draw or write their thoughts and feelings.
2. Pump it up.
After allowing your child to own his or her feelings about going back to school, you can bring out some positives about school. You might mention fun things the nursery school will be doing during the first day or week back after the holidays. Bring up friends at school and remind your child the teacher is looking forward to seeing him or her. You, as a parent, have an untold amount of influence on your child so be sure to use it in a positive
and conducive way.
3. Set the scene.
Oftentimes children forget how much fun they have at pre-primary school. They get caught up in holiday fun and have trouble remembering that school is fun too. Take your child on a trip back to class by igniting their imagination. Re-enact a day or event in school that was enjoyable for them. Or, make up a new story. You can even let your child help tell the story. Setting a new scenario in their mind is very helpful and fun too.
4. Under the surface.
Don’t ignore issues that are buried under the surface. Is your child dreading going back to pre-primary school because he or she doesn't have many friends? Maybe your child is afraid you’ll forget to come back for them. Perhaps your little one has trouble being still when in class. The more you dig beneath the surface, the more you are likely to learn and the more problems you’ll be able to find solutions for.
If you find yourself stumped and need a little help finding further answers for the back to school from the holidays blues, reach out to your preschool, nursery school, or crèche. The best preschool teachers are able and willing to help with this and any other problem your child is experiencing.