September begins and it is inevitable to associate this month with the words “back to school”. The nerves are already present in children and adolescents as well as in parents before returning to classrooms on the 12th in Asturias, but psychologists agree that the important thing is to normalize and withdraw iron of this new step. It should not be conceived as facing something, but as the beginning of another period of the year. And, above all, that it doesn’t seem like anything bad is happening, so that the end of the holidays doesn’t turn out to be the end of the world.
“Back to school involves a period of adaptation, like any change, but it is not necessary to hyper-prepare it or to conceive of it as something large,” explains psychologist Laura Buj de Llanes. Esther Blanco, also an expert from Oviedo, agrees with this and believes that arriving at this moment and finding that the return to school is traumatic for the child means that something is not going well: “You don’t have to create a dichotomy where summer is good and winter is bad.
On the other hand, going back to school in September does not mean putting pressure on children to do their homework these days and start revising school subjects before starting lessons. “It could even be counterproductive, because it could even generate a situation of rejection,” explains Buj. Blanco thinks the same: “There’s no way that now that it’s September 1, we have to start reviewing or looking at this year’s books, because they won’t be understood by children or accepted by teenagers. .” For her, it is important that in the summer some kind of reading activity is maintained.
Another aspect that worries families is that the schedules are usually very different for children in the summer, and now that it’s time to get back to the routine, it can be difficult. Blanco believes the key once again lies in how this matter has been handled over the summer. “If the child for two months gets up at lunchtime or goes to bed at so many hours, now it will be more complicated,” he explains. For this reason, Buj recommends that these days of September sleep habits be gradually changed and that they approach those of the start of the school year, so that on the 12th the awakening is not “so abrupt”: “You have to anticipate the previous days, that the children begin to adopt a sleeping routine”.
How parents deal with this issue will have a big impact on how students behave when they return to class. “Emotions are contagious, if for parents the return to work is something catastrophic, the children perceive it that way”, explains Laura Buj.
Therefore, it is important not to dwell on the bad and look for small motivations and positive incentives, such as going to pick up school supplies and choosing what he likes best. Involve them too, say the experts, in the choice of extracurricular activities and influence that they return to see their friends, with whom they coincide less during the summer.
Fostering a climate of communication is essential, and not just in these weeks of returning to routine, but for family life in general. Let them know that at home they can say what worries them, that if they have a problem they can turn to their parents. Professionals advise parents to ask their children how they feel now that class is starting, how they see it and if there is anything worrying them. “That’s what’s really important, more than sitting down to do your homework, you have to take care of your children emotionally, and do it with real interest”, underlines Esther Blanco.
As for adolescents, the change of cycle – from primary to secondary – that is to say the passage from school to institute, can be particularly delicate. This change also coincides with an age at which developmental change begins, with puberty and the onset of adolescence. An increased need for independence and space, estrangement from parents, new relationships and changes in attitude are some of the patterns that are commonly encountered in this complicated time. “It is convenient to keep an eye on them, to see how they adapt to a new environment like high school, but not to put more pressure on them than necessary and, above all, not to anticipate what may happen, not to put in imaginary situations”, advises Buj.
Despite this general advice, both psychologists understand that there are special cases where the start of the school year must be treated with more care. “In children who are very rigid, who don’t handle things well, or those who have educational needs or who have been through a difficult situation before, such as bullying. That’s where I would prepare them more,” says Laura Buj.