by Kathleen Petretta, Hudson Danbury mom
The cicadas are singing as we tuck in at night. I admit, their song has been my visceral reminder of the seasonal switch from carefree summer days to autumnal “buckling down” since I was a child. It’s an inevitable and bittersweet sign.
As a parent, I maintain a certain degree of gratitude for the dispatch. If I begin preparing now, the transition will most likely be less jolting, yes? Together the kids and I can be proactive instead of reactive! (At least, that’s the plan…)
Here’s what the experts say:
- Anticipate and address your child’s anxiety. Long Island, NY child psychologist Renee Clausell reminds parents that anticipating and talking honestly with your children about back-to-school stress can head off potential “melt downs” and explore helpful adaptation strategies.
- Manage your own anxiety. This includes maintaining a positive attitude about your child’s up-coming school experience. If you are nervous about the the year to come, your child will sense and mirror that tentativeness.
- Ease back into scheduled days. I don’t know about you, but we are truly enjoying staying up late with the sun and starting our mornings more slowly than usual this summer. It’s both restorative and recuperative. Rather than jolting straight back into firm school bedtimes and strict wake-ups, however, it’s helpful to start altering both in 10-minute intervals progressively to get back on track.
- Seek out one-on-one time with your child every day. If we are in “transition mode”, by definition, summer isn’t over yet. Washington DC consultant Bethany Hardy reminds us, “whether it involves reading a few extra books to your toddler, taking turns making up a story with your preschooler, or gazing at the stars with your oldest after the others have been put to bed, your children will savor your undivided attention. And both of you will benefit from putting yet another hectic day on hold.”
- Stay connected to nature. Colder evenings, cicada concerts, green leaves turning brilliant colors. Nature’s revealing transition from summer to autumn helps to explain and instruct ours. And keep it real.