The summer holidays are fast coming to an end. Time to begin to make adjustments for a new school year.
Apart from the pressure on family finances, starting the new school year can be a time of great excitement and anxiety…new friends…new teachers…new subjects… It also can mean lots of changes for both parents and children…changes in daily schedule, including sleeping, eating, play and screen time. I know the stress and hustle & bustle that back to school brings.
I’d like to share a few tips I’ve learnt to help manage the change process and calm the fears of both parent and child.
Tip #1 – Don’t Panic
I saw this cartoon the other day and as hilarious as I found it, the seriousness and reality of it wasn’t lost on me. I have heard too many anxious stories from parents…”the economy is bad…” “My children started schooling abroad when the exchange rate was N250 to $1 now its N500!”…”My company just downsized…” Panicking doesn’t have to do with only finances. You could be a bit anxious about your children commuting to school…settling in to a new class / school…after school care…the pressure on your time vis-à-vis workload etc.
To be honest I have entertained a few anxious thoughts myself but then I realized that complaining and panicking only worsens the situation. These are interesting times that call for us to be pragmatic and plan judiciously.
Tip #2 – Have a plan
In coming up with a plan, you would need to honestly and objectively appraise each situation and the resources (financial, human, time) at your disposal. Based on that, set realistic action plans. This may include cutting back on family spending; presenting a payment plan to the school; withdrawing the child to a cheaper school or even considering homeschooling; signing up for the school bus; car pooling; leaving work earlier that you usually would…. The important thing is being realistic and doing what works for YOU. Remember your situation is not the same as that of your friend.
Thinking clearly enough to come up and stick with a plan is easier said than done especially when one is emotionally invested and / or overwhelmed by the circumstances. Finding someone who is objective and whom you can trust to talk to and encourage you to stick with your plan has been found to be very useful.
I do have a few more “back to school” tips to share but I’ll let you mull over these two for now and allow you time to take whatever steps need to be taken.
Should you need to talk to someone who would listen, keep your confidence and work with you professionally on this and other parenting-related matters, feel free to contact our certified life coach – Charity Babatunde using the form on the contact page of our blog and she would be happy to talk with you.
Watch out for some more “back to school” tips on www.parentinvestment.com.