It’s not quite the end of term but so many parents (including everyone here at mySircles HQ), are already looking forward to 6 weeks without the school run! At this point September seems very far away but like all moments in life, it soon sneaks up! Before we know it, the fresh September air will be upon us and with it will come the rush to buy new uniform, the smell of new pencil cases and a whole new playground dynamic to navigate!
To both children and adults a new school year can be an an anxious time, everything is so new and everyone has to find their feet. A new school year means a new class, new timetables, new clubs, new homework, new PE days, new calendars and for some children new schools entirely.
Anxiety comes from change so what can we do as parents to ease the transition for our children (and us)! In this post we will explore 3 things you can do to prepare your child for the change that September brings.
1. Open up the lines of communication
Giving your child the opportunity to talk about their transition is valuable. Sometimes it can be hard to get kids talking when we just throw questions at them and this can even have a counter productive impact as they feel they have to give you the right answers.
Try doing an activity with your child, this could be walking, baking or crafting, anything that gives you both the chance to be next to one another and relax into a task. This more informal and nurturing environment will allow for a more natural and authentic conversation to flow. This is especially useful leading up to and after many visits to a new school or transition days.
2. Don’t dismiss their feelings
Regardless of how trivial their concerns seem to us as adults, they are very real to children. When we tell a child ‘not to worry’ about something we are effectively dismissing their valid fears. This doesn’t make them go away but also doesn’t help them learn how to deal with it.
Instead, we invite you to just listen to how they feel and what they are experiencing. Avoid trying to fix the problem straight away, sometimes they just want to talk. Only give advice if they ask for it and instead ask an open question, for example, ‘how can I help you right now?’ Make sure your child knows that their feelings are normal and it’s OK to be scared sometimes, the difference is, fear doesn’t have to control us (as we know well, when we go into a new playground we can experience those nerves too)!
3. Be part of school life
Try to get involved in the life of your child in any way you can. This means connecting with school, clubs or other parents in the playground. Everyone’s schedule is different but where possible try to get involved and connect with the circles that your child is involved with. Doing this means you become more informed and in control of the day-to-day chaos of life because you have a network of parents who are all in the same class or club. Your child will also see your involvement and it will help them to settle and feel safe.
Sometimes there are physical logistical issues that make it difficult to connect with other parents though, maybe you don’t know their name, you don’t see them enough to get their number, you can’t find them on social media or you just don’t know who is who. There just isn’t an easy way to connect with other parents on school-related matters.
It was when faced with these specific problems Babita Devi began to develop an app called mySircles. We have come to rely on technology to connect us, but this is causing challenge and chaos with a vast number of ways that we can communicate from email to text and from chat to social media. mySircles has been created by parents, for parents, all to make communication easier so that we can all show up and be informed, supported and confident enough to help our kids get the most out of school.
So if September brings a new year group or a new school, you and your child still have to manage transition. Let mySircles help you get prepared today. Register your interest here and we will be in touch when mySircles is launched nationwide.