One thing we often forget to think about is how our kids feel about the beginning of the new year.
Sometimes at the end of the holidays, behaviour starts to deteriorate in the week leading up to school, which in turn leads us to get angry at our children, and then starts the snowball effect of stress before school starts.
What I know from my own children is that there is often stress in our kids at the beginning of the year as well. They can feel the energy, the change that is coming. They notice that we as parents are keen for the holidays to be over and for school to take over the day-to-day care options. Our children feel all this energy, but don’t know how to process it other than by acting up, becoming whiney, or there could be lots of tears.
Just because we have survived 4 weeks of the school holidays, don’t think that the last week or two doesn’t matter. For our children it matters most of all when we think about how we want the beginning of the school year to go.
Tips to help ensure a Happy end to the holidays:
- take time to talk to your kids about the year ahead
- listen to their fears without prejudice
- help them articulate the problems
- offer some solutions BUT don’t dismiss the fears as silly – to your child they are extremely relevant
- keep the conversation LIGHT – don’t go into too many doomsday predictions
- come back in a couple of days and check how they feel now
Often with children, it is the articulation of the feelings they are having that is the important thing. If they feel listened to, then that can be all that is needed.
If the problems are more serious, make a note to talk with the child’s teacher at the beginning of the school year, or a doctor if your concerns are medical. Start the year in a positive place with your child, and reap the rewards as the year goes on.