There is always the exciting bustle of selecting new pencils, notebooks, lunchboxes, juice boxes, jackets and rain gear as the new school year edges closer. Though the sense of melancholy hovers as the days draw near — for children as well as their parents — there is a certain thrill in seeing who will be in your class and if you got the teacher you had hoped for. So, as a grandma on the sidelines watching all this, I thought I’d throw in some grandparents back to school tips of my own — for the parents.
Grandparents Back to School Tips
1. If this is your child’s first experience in “real school” give him or her some clues as to what to expect. If there is an option of meeting the teacher prior to the first day of class, take advantage of it. Walk into the classroom, find where the closest bathroom is, and introduce yourself and your child to the teacher.
2. Show your child where you will be waiting for him or her at the end of their day.
3. Practice your walk or drive to school. That way it will feel like a familiar trip.
4. If you child is anxious, put an encouragement note or a little trinket in their bag that reminds them that you are thinking about them all day.
5. Be punctual about picking them up. My mom was often late, and I would sit alone on the school steps feeling really nervous and afraid. She didn’t mean to be late, but there were three other kids at home and sometimes plans just didn’t work out smoothly. Make friends with other moms so that you can cover school pickups for each other should the need arise.
6. Remember that kids have “bad days” also. Their dramas may seem trivial compared to what adults face each day. But nonetheless, it’s drama. Be open to them if they seem to need to talk about things, and monitor negative emotions. They may not be comfortable talking about a bully or a bad grade or someone thinking they look weird (I got that a lot as a kid). Most kids want to please their parents and it’s hard to bring up the negatives of their day. Give them some time to relax and enjoy being home before you delve into possible drama.
7. And pay attention to changes in behavior, moods, or favorite activities. Something may be going on that your child is uneasy speaking about due to embarrassment or fear of disappointing you. And, if and when your child mentions a concern, treat it with true interest. It isn’t trivial to your child.
8. Remember to hug them goodbye in the morning, and greet them with joy at the end of the day. They are your greatest treasure, and you are their greatest fan.
What grandparents back to school tips would you add to the list?
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Tags: Back to school