Back to School Worries

So, as the 6 weeks holidays draw to an end (yay we survived!!), it can often bring on a whole new bundle of emotions for both parents and children.
Where some of us (parents and children) may feel excited about the new school year, for many of us it can feel overwhelming and nerve-wracking.
I got in touch with Stef from Relax Kids Lancaster and asked her to share her knowledge on how to squash those back to school nerves…

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I love the 6 weeks holiday with my little boy but as we approach August and the weeks are flying by the thought of September starts to fill me with dread.
I always think it’s such a long, long time to have off and it always makes me feel really nervous going back even though I work in a fab school with lovely people.
Having always mostly worked in an educational setting that feeling I had as a child has never really left me so I totally get how children feel when September starts approaching.

What can we do to help us…

When we worry and have a negative thought we can put a positive spin on it. That way it starts training our mind to think more positively about it. Repeating positive affirmations is a great way to do this.
Positive affirmations are things such as ‘You are lovely’, ‘You are kind’, ‘You are strong’.
Giving each other a positive affirmation is lovely but it’s also good to get your child to practice saying a positive affirmation about themselves as it’s often easier to say it to others then saying it about ourselves… ‘I am nice’, ‘I am caring’, ‘I am amazing’, ‘You are brilliant’.
A positive affirmation is a happy feel good word.

Relaxation at some point of the day will really help even if it’s just two minutes. I prefer the end of the day but it’s at a time that suits you and your child the best.
Relaxation could be listening to calming music, massage, breathing or listening to a lovely meditation.

Keep in touch with friends from school so we still have that school link.

Write down or draw all the positives of going back to school so we can see it visually. This helps us visualise and see the positives.

It’s also the organisational side of it that stresses me a little. Getting ready for my little boy’s return to school, making sure the uniform etc has been bought and labelled and that he has everything he needs for when he returns.
I know some of my friends are super organised and have already bought their child/children’s uniform already. I’m not that organised and actually couldn’t afford to buy it out right so what I have done is I have written myself a list and I have been slowly ticking things off and making sure I’ve done something productive each week for the return of school.
Does anyone else write something they’ve already completed on a list just so they can tick it off?! Or is that just me!! Lists are great to keep us on track.

My little boy finds the 6 weeks hard, like me he loves it but he is also out of routine and once that routine is broken it’s always so hard to get back into it- getting used to the lazy mornings and the later than normal nights.
Together we’ve sat down and made a plan that 2 weeks before he’s back at school we are going to slowly introduce elements of our school routine.
This will include on week 1 going to bed at 8:30 and doing 10 minute stretches and breathing exercises or listening to a meditation instead and finishing by giving each other a positive affirmation.
Week 2; repeating week 1 and starting to get up earlier in a morning giving each other a positive affirmation so it’s not a massive shock when we return and will hopefully help us get back into our routine better.

These are just a few small pointers but they can really make a difference.

Head over to my Facebook page ( https://www.facebook.com/Relax-Kids-Lancaster-and-the-surrounding-areas-452135778262519/?ref=br_rs ) to find our Back to School ebook with lots more handy hints.

Stef, Relax Kids Lancaster

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How to survive the 6 week Summer hols

Parenting…

It’s tough, it’s exhausting but it’s absolutely the best thing ever without a doubt.
So as many of us start the 6 week summer holidays today we’re still feeling quite positive, blissfully planning activities to take on with our offspring.
Many of us will know however, that this blissful, positive feeling will diminish over the course of each day and we will turn to despair.
We will call in back up of whichever form.

So how do we survive the 6 weeks Summer hols? 

  • Make a Plan. A POA. 
    Whether it’s by choosing one simple ‘activity’ to do per day or one place out to go each week, make a plan of things to help prevent everyone from getting bored and stressful situations occurring.
    This also helps to break the time up and help you feel like you have accomplished something each day/week.
  • Factor in your routine and use it in your plan.
    So, for example, for us Bunny sleeps of an afternoon. I can use this hour or 2 to do something with the Wildcat that we wouldn’t be able to do whilst she was up. Even if it’s just quality time colouring a picture together or baking some biscuits. I can then plan an activity that they can both do in a morning.
  • Recognise the signs.
    If your child is starting to get whingy, niggly or act up/misbehave there might be a reason why; Hunger, tiredness (we all let them have later nights in school holidays don’t we!) or one of the main ones- Boredom.
    Try and recognise these signs and nip them in the bud before they result in an explosion of some sort- from your child or you!!
    TOP TIP: For boredom have some quick fix activities pinned up on your kitchen notice board! 
  • Take each day one day at a time! 
    Don’t let a bad morning ruin your day or a bad day ruin your week! Just take each day one step at a time and remember it’s going to be hard for the kids as well as you- it’s a massive change to their routine too.
    You will need your witts about you to keep everything running smoothly. 
  • Have Fun! 
    This is a perfect opportunity for you and your kids to spend some quality time together- a welcome break from structured learning and a chance for their brains to chill the F out.
    Make things fun- a really great suggestion on our live feed (see below) was to turn mealtimes in to a café or restaurant. So simple, no prep beforehand needed and the kids love it- mine usually look at me to start with like I’m barmy but straight away get involved and play along.
  • Meet up with friends.
    They are your back up. Get your adult convo fix, even when it’s interrupted repeatedly, and just see another human, adult face! Hopefully they’ll also have kids so they can all play nicely together and give you a better chance to chat.
  • Get Outside.
    This is a brilliant one for helping with stressful situations and proves a brilliant distraction from boredom or tiredness.
    Get out in the fresh air and whether its a trip to the nearest park, a run round in the garden or a walk with a scavenger hunt it really doesn’t matter. You don’t even have to have a plan to get outside, it could be 15 minutes before teatime to blow the cobwebs away.
    TOP TIP: Keep a pile of scavenger hunts somewhere easy to grab on your way out of the door or on your phone to use whilst you’re out and about! 
  • Don’t sweat the small stuff!
    Stuff like a tidy house and cleaning is probably mostly going to go by the board. Same as high tempers and impatience are going to be a common occurrence.
    Try not to let the ‘little things’ get to you.
    TOP TIP: Use our Facebook group ‘The Stress Dump’ to offload any stress before it gets too much! https://www.facebook.com/groups/608948225969813/
  • Use Pinterest for quick fix activity ideas! 
    Pinterest, if you haven’t used it already, is a fantastic resource and a minefield of so many different activities. If you’re getting stuck for ideas have a search around on there and create a ‘board’ so finding an activity is simple!
  • Music. 
    Put some music on and have a dance around together. Instant mood booster and lots of fun.
    TOP TIP: Bend and Stretch with the Sticky Kids is an excellent cd full of activity songs and rhymes. http://www.stickykidscatalogue.co.uk/bend&stretch.html
  • Try something new.
    Whether it’s a trip to a new play park or visiting somewhere you haven’t been before, trying something fun is great for instilling some excitement and fun into your kid’s 6 week hols.
  • Take extra time out for you.
    Even if it’s just an extra 10 minutes to sip from your gin filled hip flask (only joking…) make sure your take a little extra time for you. The summer holidays can be very full on and if you don’t look after yourself, you wont be at the top of your game to look after the kids!

So that’s it, my survival strategy for the Summer.
All that’s left for me to say is… GOOD LUCK! I’ll see you on the other side…!


Keep a look out for TNPPC very own Summer bucket list 

FACEBOOK LIVE FEED: HOW TO SURVIVE THE 6 WEEKS HOLS