School is back in session and we are adjusting our daily schedules from summer fun and relaxation to homework and after school activities. It takes time for children to adjust and transition back into their school routine. We need to think of it like starting a new job; a new boss (teacher), new coworkers (friends), and sometimes new location (new school). The feeling and adjustment does not change whether you are going from Preschool to Kindergarten or if you are going from fourth grade to fifth. We as parents need to do what we can to help them with the adjustment. We often come up with a routine of going to bed early, homework time, preparing for the next day. All of these things definitely help especially if they help with the process.
One very important thing you can do is “Give Them Five” and listen.
Take five minutes to just sit down and talk to your child about their day. Five minutes may seem like a short amount of time, but to them it is a very long time! Children are constantly learning and thinking, from the time they wake up to the time they go to bed. You can start by talking about what they should wear for the day and how the weather is or what are good choices for breakfast and how eating a healthy breakfast can give them a good start to their day. There are so many opportunities to give them five minutes of your time to hear from them and about their day- on the way home from school, daycare, after school activity, dinner time, or even right before bed. It is important that they are able to express themselves, be heard and be able to share all that they are learning.
Sometimes it can be a challenge depending on the age of your child(ren) to get them to open up about their day. Most conversations start like this:
Parent- “How was your day?”
Try a few of these questions to open the line of communication to learn more about your child- likes, dislikes, cares, concerns, etc..
What was the most exciting part of your day?
What was the funniest thing your teacher said or did today?
What was the most difficult subject for your today? Why?
Which friends did you sit with at lunch?
What was the subject of conversation at the lunch table?
What was your choice activity at recess?
Were there any sad times of your day?
What are you looking forward to tomorrow at school?
The list could go on; you can even make it a game at dinner or in the car. You just need to start and then your children will have the opportunity to share or even teach you something about what life is like in their world.
Remember, it starts with Five! The best part is, you can always add more time
Thank you for listening,
Sue Jurjevic is a Recreation Specialist for the Manassas Park Parks and Recreation Department. She can be reached at 703.335.8872 or via email at email@example.com
Community Matters is a blog created by the City of Manassas Park Department of Parks and Recreation. The blog features program updates, announcements of new services, special event notices, or information of general interest.