Whether your kids are heading to school for the first time, starting high school or changing schools, it can often be accompanied by a little bit of stress and anxiety. I am not just talking the kids here either – many of us mums feel very anxious and a bit teary about sending our precious bundles off the school!
My boy is starting year 11 this year and my girl is starting high school (omgosh!!). I feel like a veteran school mum!
They have mostly enjoyed it, but there have been times when nerves have gotten the better of all of us.
Here are my top tips to make back to school calm and cool.
1. Be positive. Whenever you are talking about school, keep a positive attitude. Kids will quickly pick up any anxiety or negativity you might be feeling about it. Talk about all the fun things you used to do at school and all the friends you made.
2. Yummy lunch. Pack something your child loves to eat for the first day, so they are looking forward to it. Check out my blog post about healthy lunch boxes.
3. Do a reccy (reconnaissance mission). If you are able, get permission to visit the school in the holidays. Hang out on the swings, stroll around the buildings, find the toilets and get familiar with the layout before the big day. Most places will have an orientation day, but visiting when its quiet can make a difference.
4. Aromatherapy oils. Put a drop or two of essential oils on a hanky for your child to sniff if they are feeling a little anxious. Try ‘courage and confidence’ or ‘instant calm’ synergy blends from Twenty 8. Mums, don’t forget to do the same for yourself!
5. Buddy up. See if you can find someone who will be in your child’s class. Have them over for a play date before-hand to get friendly and chat about school. Encourage them to look out for each other on the day.
6. Keep it simple. Make sure bags and lunch boxes are easy to access for little fingers. It’s not much fun struggling with layers of clingwrap to get to your lunch! Try one of the sandwich pockets from 4 My Earth that have velcro closures.
7. After-school fun. Although they will most likely be exhausted, a small treat to look forward to after school can be something to get them through the day. A visit to grandma or reading their favourite story perhaps.
8. Love note or magic banana. Write your kids a cute little love note, jokes or pop some stickers in their lunchbox for a nice surprise! For the ultimate in cool and eco-friendly, write a message on a banana with a skewer. By lunch time, it will have magically appeared.
9. Have a morning routine. A set time to get up and a routine to follow will keep that morning chaos to a minimum and keep everyone calm. Use checklists if you need to. Check out The Organised Housewife for lots of great tips to get organised!
10. Play school. Have a fun day at home where you play ‘school’. Get up, get ready, get the uniform on and have brekky in real school time. Go outside for lunch and practice opening the new lunch boxes.
11. Crystals. Let your child choose a few crystals to carry in their pocket on the first day. Agate is calming and comforting. Calcite helps alleviates fear and can reduce stress. Aquamarine, which is a type of Beryl, can calms nerves and help banish fear and phobias. Let your child choose the crystal which speaks to them. My kids adore doing this and quite often take them to school.
12. Australian Bushflower Essences. These work so well for our family. Alisha, a qualified ABFE practitioner, has put together a special back to school pack containing 4 blends for kids and parents in the school years. Self Love helps to boost confidence, helps with shyness and public speaking. Focus helps with learning, concentration and memory. Help for all manner of things – fear, anxiety, shock, sadness, grief. Slow Down for helping calm and settle, great for ADHD and busy kids that need winding down. Get some more info here.
What tips do you have for a stress free back to school?