Happy New ‘School’ Year!
So, last weekend couldn’t have come sooner in our house! Being the end of the second week back at school and the first full week of the new school year, it’s fair to say we were all absolutely shattered!
Last year, Sunflower Cognitive Therapies wrote a number of posts with reference to the summer holidays and parents preparing for the new school year. Recognising the common theme strangers talk about at the supermarket checkout – ‘returning to school’, many parents eagerly awaiting for the 6 weeks to end.
For both parents, carers and grandparents, the race is on preparing for the new school term; getting uniforms ready, shoes and coats, buying new items and recycling old items for siblings. Collecting school bags, dusting off reading books and gathering PE kits ready for the first day of school.
But… whilst we are organised, how do we prepare our children and young people who are returning back to school or college following the holidays?
The start of a new school year introduces many changes for children and young people and quite often we fail to appreciate the significance of a new school year and the emotional impact this can have on them. New teachers and classrooms, new schools and routines can lead to both excitement and uncertainty, anxiety or fear, however having one theme in common, change!
If you have a child or young person who struggles with change it can be helpful to factor in some time in the day to talk through any worries or thoughts that may be troubling them.
Prior to a new term, I feel it is helpful to reflect on the past year; recognising positive achievements, having confident with spelling tests, reading independently or taking part in an after school club. It is also important to talk about any difficult situations and acknowledge the steps that were taken at the time to overcome these challenges, listening in class, choices made and the consequences they lead to.
Spend time talking through any thoughts or feelings that young people may have with regards to starting a new academic year can be helpful to prepare them for any changes that might take place, planting the seed.
Thinking about expectations a new year may bring can help to identify new goals or challenges that they may like to work towards over the year ahead, helping them to grow.
Talking about positive and negative situations that have happened over the past year highlights achievements, whilst recognises challenges. Helping to set goals to work towards, steps to help us grow.
This year we have identified a number of different goals we would like to achieve in our house…
Getting my pen licence!
To be potty trained so I can start school nursery!
To be in bed early!
To be more organised, prepared for the following day…
So as we greet the cold mornings and dark nights, one thing is for sure, the winter months are closing in. From past experience I know waking up in the winter months is even more challenging than the summer months, because of this I know that over the coming months I will have to be even more organised than ever.
FACT, we all get tired from time to time and it is hard to think rationally when we are tired or feeling sleep deprived!
If we look at the bigger picture, throughout the year there are a number of opportunities where we are given second chances to make a fresh start; New Year’s Eve celebrations welcoming in the New Year resolutions, birthdays, going back to work or school after holidays, the 1st of every month or even the start of each new week?
Starting a new year can be a fresh start, a time for new beginnings and a plan of good intentions, after all that’s what people associate New Year’s Eve with… and with that thought in mind, I think a few more alarm clocks will be added to this week’s shopping list….. Let’s try again next week!