Beating the Back to School Blues
My first child has never been clingy. She loves a nice hug now and then, but she has never been the kind of child to climb into an empty lap or sneak over in the middle of the night. When she was two and a half years old she began a five hour a week pre-school and had no problem at drop-off. In fact, as she bravely walked into the classroom, I was the one who had to quickly sneak out, tears streaming down my face.
Imagine our surprise when a month and a half later my husband and I began to experience middle of the night visits from this same independent little girl. After about six weeks of school, something began to happen. Not only did she realize that the visits to the school weren’t going away, but she also began to miss us. She’d come home from pre-school exhausted and need a nap. Before she knew it the day was over and it was time for bed. Waking up in the middle of the night she’d decide that that was the perfect time to hang out with mom and dad.
The luster of back to school begins to wear off for many kids as the fall drags on and holiday breaks still seem a mile away. Suddenly enthusiasm is replaced with dragging feet on the way to the bus stop and tired faces on the ride home. As parents this is where we can step in to bring back the excitement that our kids felt in those final days of summer when they were seeing new class lists, choosing new backpacks, and trying on new fall clothes.
Luckily there are fun and simple things we can do to put the sparkle back in school. With change of season sales, it’s the perfect time to pick up a fun new outfit maybe for the first cool day or school pictures. Have packed lunches become boring? Maybe it’s time to let your kiddo try a bought lunch for the first time. If you’re not feeling brave enough to send your child to school with money and the option to buy just chocolate milk and cookies, maybe it’s time to take a trip together to the grocery store to pick out some fun new options. Create make-your-own sandwich kits in bento boxes or slip some graham crackers and banana slices together for a nutritious dessert. It may also be time for a countdown calendar! Drawing from the fun of a back to school calendar, you can mark upcoming events like dessert night with dad, Halloween parade, or even a half day on a calendar to keep in a central location. Getting up and going to school each day is another step closer to the next fun event!
With three months left until holiday break, the reality of the day in, day out of school is sinking in for many kids. What do you do to keep going to school each day fun and exciting?