BACK TO SCHOOL

5 tips for a more confident return to school

BACK TO SCHOOL

5 tips for a more confident return to school

After a year of confinement and a long summer vacation, back-to-school is still full of uncertainty. Discover our 5 tips to help your teens go back to school with confidence!

GET BACK TO GOOD HABITS

• Prepare for the new school year as best as possible by preparing their equipment and finding their way around, especially for grade 7 students.

• Choose an item of clothing that he/she likes for the first day of school, arrange to meet friends at a specific location on the first day, see if there are friends with them in the classes.

• Get up early enough so that you are not pressed for time. If you are afraid of having trouble waking up in the morning, you can start waking up progressively earlier a few days before school starts.

• Get enough sleep: between 8 and 10 hours per night.

• Plan something fun after the first day of school with your friends or family, like watching a good movie.

Avoid unattainable personal challenges

The period of confinement brought its share of challenges. For example, for some, withdrawal, for others, weight gain or school difficulties. Going back to our old habits and rhythm is tempting but could be a source of additional stress. We advise you not to set unattainable goals and to encourage your teenager to go at their own pace with kindness.

Sports enthusiasts can resume their favorite activities, the “sociable” ones can reconnect with their friends, and the more introverted ones can resume quietly, day after day.

And why not take advantage of this moment to reflect on what they have learned about themselves during the pandemic and what they wish to keep in their return to the classroom?

Recognize your emotions to become more resilient

Recognize your emotions to become more resilient

As you know, most young people feel stress as the school year approaches and this is normal. Rather than trying to “get ahead” at all costs without paying attention to their emotions, it is important that your youth take the time to acknowledge their difficulties without judging themselves negatively. By practicing self-compassion, teens can give themselves a little kindness, realize that they are not the only ones feeling these emotions and are better able to bounce back from their difficulties.

As they face the uncertainties of the new school year, don’t hesitate to remind them of how resilient they have been so far. This will give them the ability to bounce back and adapt.

Discover self-compassion

Practice mindfulness to calm anxiety

When you feel stressed, taking a break to observe yourself (thoughts, emotions, physical sensations) and verbalizing out loud can help you return to a calmer state. It can also make it easier for them to talk about what is stressing them out to those around them and take their advice.

In general, mindfulness helps to reduce anxiety and depression related to ruminating on the past and anticipating the future by restoring the present moment to its proper place.

 Interested in mindfulness at school? Discover our podcasts, educational sheets and videos in our school kit.

Discover mindfulness

Sort out your thoughts

When faced with negative thoughts, you can teach your children to sort out their “useful” thoughts from their “parasitic” thoughts. This little exercise will allow them to focus on what they can control and reduce unhelpful and negative thoughts.

Generally speaking, remind them that this is a new year and that they can put aside what happened last year. Rather than anticipating the fall, it is more advisable to go in one day at a time and wait for the teachers to explain how the class works.

Teach young people to sort out their thoughts

Is your child entering high school and feeling anxious? Discover all our practical advice in this new video!

Sources

Article written by the Fondation Jeunes en Tête

Experts consulted: Amélie Seidah PhD, psychologist, Isabelle Geninet PhD, psychologist, Stéphanie Deslauriers, psychoeducator, Marie-Michèle Ricard, Psychoeducator and psychotherapist.