Children can get quite depressed when holidays are over and it is time to head back to school. The structured and routine system of a classroom can become stressful for her.
Here are five reasons why your child hates going back to school and also what you, as a parent, can do about it.
Holidays are a fun time for children with vacations, long waking hours, flexible routines, stretched play times and a lot of fun activities. On the other hand, school means back to the grind – getting up early, sitting in a closed classroom all day, lots of homework, and not to forget the additional tuitions, that not many can avoid these days. No wonder that once school reopens, it becomes an anxious and stressful time for the entire family.
To avoid this, begin the school routine a few weeks before it actually starts. For older kids, put a cap on television time, use of cell phones, etc, and for the younger ones, get them back into the schedule of early bedtime and early waking hour.
Fear of Unknown
Most often it’s a new class, post summer vacations. This adds to the pressure on the child because there are a lot of unknown things which a child has to face, like new teachers, new lessons, new schedules, and new peers, as most schools prefer shuffling of the students between sections.
As a child grows, having known people around her in school becomes important. So when she sees that new faces have appeared in the form of teachers and peers, she feels vulnerable. Getting acquainted with new people can be quite overwhelming for her, and more so if she has a shy nature.
As a parent, to get her used to the concept of new surroundings by:
- Enrolling her in hobby classes, where she can get accustomed to seeing unknown people.
- Taking her with you to a café, to get her used to strangers.
- Even when school opens, every day ask her about the school, and teach her to say ‘hello’ to the classmate who sits next to her in her class.
Pressure of Studies
Children would much rather play, than sit within the confines of a study table to complete their homework, or even revise the lessons taught in class on a day-to-day basis. This is another reason why kids detest the time when school re-opens.
As a parent, you can solve this problem by making use of the remaining days, by enrolling her in a library. Accompany them and spend time reading stories to the younger ones, or sit with the older kids and read your own book, while they read theirs. This way, when they have to read their school books, the tantrums will be lesser.
You can also ask your kids to complete a project work during their vacations. For example; if they like going on nature walks with you, or with their friends, then ask them to put together a scrap book with whatever they have collected, together with details of what flower it is, where it’s found, what type of leaf it is, etc.
Children feel that once school opens, parents will become serious, and will put an end to all fun activities at home. However, if they realize that this is not the case, and that there will not be a sudden change in the home’s environment after school opens, then they will not resist going back to school.
For example, while it is true that they need to complete their studies, don’t prohibit them completely from going out and playing. Reserve one day in the week when you can go out as a family, even if it just to have dinner.
Keep yourself available to help them with their homework. And do celebrate fun days at home – even if it is popcorn and ice cream, while watching their favourite movie.
This happens more to the younger children, rather than the older ones.
Holidays are a time when the young ones get to be at home with the parent(s). So when it’s time to go back to school, they put up a resistance. This is termed as separation anxiety. They feel scared to be left alone, and even cry when its good-bye time. When they become a little older, separation anxiety manifests itself in the form of fear of failing, imagining themselves getting lost in the school, or getting bullied, etc.
As a parent, you can constantly talk to your child about school. Accompany her to school if you must, but keep the goodbye sweet and brief. If the school has a transportation system, then she can be enrolled in it, as it will allow her the opportunity to make new friends.
Sit with her at home, if she is finding the new lessons a little daunting, and explain them to her in simple words, and offer day-to-day examples, rather than sending her off for tuitions.