Back to School is in full swing in the Jonesie household! This year, my youngest entered middle school, my daughter started 7th grade, and my oldest is now a sophomore in high school! I’ll admit I shed a tear or two (maybe 10) after the last drop off this morning. While I knew they were as ready as they could be, I was emotional about my youngest’s newest milestone. He was nervous but his big sister was there to encourage him and give him all the tips he needed to start the new school year off on the right foot.
While it’s exciting for most kids to get the new clothes and sneakers for school, maybe even the supplies, some kids may feel sad about summer coming to an end. I know my kids did. Even I was a little sad to see the lazy and fun days of summer come to an end. My children and many of their friends were sharing their favorite summer memories on social media this weekend using the hashtag, #RipSummer.
It’s all very normal for children to feel sad or even anxious about summer vacation coming to an end. Parents may notice their children having trouble sleeping in the days leading up to the first day of school or the night before. Younger children may seem extra clingy or become upset or start crying easily. As parents, our job is to keep our children encouraged and give them tips to succeed in these types of situations. Putting a positive spin on circumstances life may throw our way, even when things may not seem so positive or happy, sets a good example for our children and help calm anxiety.
So what can we do as parents to help our kids with the end of summer blues? I share four tips below!
4 Tips to Start the New School Year on A Positive Note
(And cure the end of summer vacation blues!)
- Do a practice run of the first day. Anxiety often comes from the unknown or unexpected. Whether it’s a new school or new year with new teachers, anxiety about the first day is normal. To help ease your child’s anxiety for back to school, consider doing a trial run a few days before. Get up early, eat a healthy breakfast, then head over to the new school. If possible, see if you can get access to the school and do a mini tour. Most schools will offer orientation before school starts. Don’t miss it. This will help ease anxiety as the students will often meet their teachers and new classmates.
- Do some positive thinking and meditation. Starting the day with positive affirmations or meditation is a great way to kick off the day on a positive note. Meditation is known to help with anxiety and encourages positive thinking when negative or anxious thoughts start to occur. I recently started doing 10 minutes of meditation and affirmations myself and it’s helped me with going into the day with a positive mindset. My children joined me a few times and enjoyed it. There are many videos on YouTube available for all circumstances and appropriate for all ages.
- Set goals for the new school year. The start of the new school year is the perfect time to map out and set new goals. Setting goals before the first day starts helps shift the attention from sad or anxious thoughts to excitement about new things to accomplish or challenges to overcome. Have your child write the goals down and display them somewhere they will see the goals often. Maybe it’s in the first sections of their planner or posted on the fridge. (I previously shared Five Tips on Setting Back to School Goals so be sure to check them out!)
- Throw a little party! What better way to start things off on a positive note than with a party? Back to school is a great opportunity to throw a little celebration and eat cake. Celebrate after the first day or after a successful first week. Point out the reasons for the celebration whether it was finding their way around the new school, new friends they made, or just getting to school on time each day in the first week. There are so many reasons to celebrate. After our first day of school, we had a small party and invited the neighbors to join us. You don’t have to overthink the party either. For our celebration, I used some simple back to school decorations that I found in the teacher’s aisle at our local craft store. I then picked up an OREO® Premium Ice Cream Cake from the bakery section at my local Walmart here in Jacksonville. Before we cut into our cake, we talked about the first day and the good things that happened. My youngest son shared how he didn’t get as lost as thought he would, my daughter shared that she liked all her teachers, while my oldest shared he stayed awake the entire day. (That’s a teen for ya!)
Celebrate your first week back to school with a party too! From first day of school to family celebrations and cookouts or just because, there’s always a great reason to make people smile with an ice cream cake. I Love Ice Cream Cakes make delicious frozen ice cream cakes for all occasions, in many different styles and sizes. You’ll find the ice cream cakes available in the bakery or freezer sections of grocery stores nationwide. The OREO® ice cream cake had vanilla-flavored ice cream blended with OREO® cookie pieces, plus whipped frosting topped with a large OREO® cookie wafer and OREO® cookie pieces. It was so delicious! Check out this handy I Love Ice Cream Cakes store locator to find the store nearest you with the cakes you’ll love.
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Special thanks to I Love Ice Cream Cakes for sponsoring today’s post!