Moving from a summer schedule to a school-year routine is a time of
transition for families. To help children make this change, parents can
meet with their children's teachers, take a tour of the school, set
earlier bedtimes the week before and practice the morning routine days
before school starts. In addition, here are four ways I've helped my
child ease into the new school-year schedule:
My son and I create a picture calendar that helps him visually
understand when he will go to school and when he will stay home. A
different picture is pasted on home days than on school days. The
vagueness of going to school sometimes is replaced by a concrete way to understand his schedule.
As my child goes off to school, I send him with a "mission." For
example, I might ask him to tell a friend one kind thing today ("You are
my friend." "Thank you for playing with me at recess.") or invite
someone who doesn't have many friends to sit with him at lunch. These
mini-missions help teach my child to focus on and encourage others.
By teaching my frightened child to pray, "God, I will choose to trust
You even when I am feeling afraid," I'm helping him develop a life
skill that he can apply to other difficult times.
When I drop my son off at school, I want to give him a focused
perspective about who God calls him to be. So I have taught him that
integrity means doing what is right, even when no one is watching. I
ask, "How will you return to me?" when I drop him off. He responds,
"With integrity, Mom!" Our goodbye ritual is the same every day. By
emphasizing this character quality each day, I'm helping my son connect
who he is at school with who he is at home.
This article appeared in the August/September 2015 issue of Thriving Family magazine. If you enjoyed this article, read more like it in Thriving Family, a marriage and parenting magazine published by Focus on the Family. Get Thriving Family delivered to your home by subscribing to it for a gift of a