Returning back to school after summer break is exciting for co-parents and children, but can also be challenging for the child who misses mom or dad.
Teachers and co-parents may notice an increased sensitivity of the child, since they spent a couple months at home. There may be crying when you drop them off at school. Rest assured, the child will get back into the swing of things, play with their missed friends, and feel comfortable with a smile once again.
It’s best to be extra accepting and sensitive to the child and their needs upon return to school.
A few tips from La Canada Preschool owner, Debbie Ficarra:
- Keep the routine with your child that you had before. This includes dropping them off at school and not walking them in, if you didn’t before. This will add agitation.
- Empathize with your child and what they are going through. Listen and be extra caring.
- Talking about their friends at school helps. I did this with my three-year-old the night before school and this helped get her excited about going back. Just naming off their friends names is a fun game.
- It is okay to talk to your child about how hard it may be to wake up early, get ready for school and go back again. It is also great to talk to your child about how you may not be looking forward to going back to work. Share the moment and think about how you can both feel better, together.
- Talking about feelings is good. Discussing what sadness is and that it is OK to feel sad. And that those feelings shall pass.
- Ficarra suggested that perhaps, at the end of the week, co-parents plan a special reward for a “good week back at school.” This could be a movie night.