They say that all good things must come to an end, and for most of us, Christmas break has ended, and school is back in session. Even though the winter break is only a couple of weeks long, it can still be hard to get your family back into “the swing of things”. If you’re having trouble transitioning into the new school year, we’ve got you covered.
The best plan is to reestablish routines and study habits. During the holidays our schedules can get a little crazy. It’s okay to be a couch potato during vacations, but once the New Year arrives, it’s time to start getting back on a schedule. Be sure that everyone goes to bed on time every night. This will help bodies readjust and regulate their circadian rhythm.
Just because the holidays have ended, it doesn’t mean the fun has to end. Engage your kids’ minds. On the weekend, take them to a local park or museum. It will help them begin thinking about what they will be learning over the next semester.
Revamp your home library. It has been said that encouraging reading in the home makes for a lifetime learner. Look ahead in your children’s school books and see what topics they are going to be covering. Will they be discussing the Civil War? Then add some history books to their library.
Going through their books and knowing what your child will be studying may also help thwart some sticky adoption related issues. Talk to your child’s teacher if you know about an assignment that would make your child feel uncomfortable. Will there be an assignment that requires your child to bring in baby pictures or draw a family tree? Ask your child’s teacher if the assignment could be adapted to fit your family’s circumstances.
Talk to your kids about their feelings about going back to school. Discuss any concerns, fears, or worries. Prepare your child for questions he might get. If your child is in elementary school, then his teacher and classmates should already know him, and may be aware of the adoption. There are, unfortunately, many negative stereotypes that exist, and it is best if you child is prepared to handle them.
Anxiety comes from the unknown. If your child is prone to separation anxiety, talking about what they can expect this semester may alleviate some of the fear. School can be very stressful, so if your child does not want to get up and go to school, consider why he’s not motivated. Try waking up your child up in a very calm manner instead of using an alarm clock. Spend ten minutes talking and praying with him first thing in the morning, and try to simplify his routine.
When children are stressed out, they regress. Sometimes you have to work with them at a lower developmental level. This may mean helping your ten-year-old get dressed in the morning. What is most important is your child being stable emotionally. Once he’s there, then he can start being independent once again.
Finally, share your enthusiasm. Every child, at some point in life, will have a negative attitude about going back to school. If you’re excited for them, you will transfer some of that enthusiasm to them, and you can all have a great school year!