How to prepare your child for school?

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As kids go back to school, parents often face some difficulties accustoming their kids to the new order after vacations, with all the disorder and lack of discipline it entails. So, what are the simplest and best ways to prepare your children to go back to school effortlessly?
Psychiatrist Zaher Al Hukeir responds to these questions and subsequent ones saying, “Parents undoubtedly suffer a lot at the beginning of every semester to accustom their children to sleep and study regularly, and decrease the disorder and excessive playing and going out”. To achieve all that, the mother has to do the following steps and recommendations:
1. Write down the number of days left until vacation is over, and make them count the days themselves to eliminate the element of surprise, which makes them stubborn.
2. Encourage them to unleash their energy during the vacation with games and entertainment activities.
3. Fulfill the promises you made to them in the vacation as much as you can, such as going somewhere or meeting someone. Explain why you can’t do the things that you’re unable to do, to ensure that they don’t feel that they missed what they were expecting to achieve in their vacation, and that their vacation wasn’t fun or long enough for them to do what they wanted. This, in turn, would make them prefer not to go back to school.
4. Start changing their bedtime a while before school starts, to make it easier for them to sleep on time.
5. Gradually go out less and go out on fewer picnics; this way they will adjust to school conditions, if you’re travelling outside then it’s a good idea to come back home a while before school starts to give them some time to prepare for it.
6. Take them out to buy school supplies and stationary; it will make them excited to go back to school.
7. Set a plan to readjust their sleeping and studying hours.
8. Remind them of the most beautiful moments they had in previous semesters, and encourage them to prepare to go back to school and get good grades.

What manners should the mother teach her child before his first day at school?

-We should always be familiar with a place and what’s inside it and how we should deal with people inside it before we go there. This way, we are that we are not taken by surprise there. The same goes for your little child, who doesn’t get used to new places quickly; so you should teach your child some manners to help him to blend in with others during his first day at school, and give a good impression. Some of the key manners include the following:
• Social skills: Good communication with others always starts from home. If you treat your child with kindness, love, and understanding, then he will treat people with respect. Try to teach him some “etiquette” when dealing with relatives, like teaching him how to say thank you, courtesy, respecting people’s feelings, respecting the elderly, and apologizing.

• The meaning of “appointment”: School is a new system for the child. He suddenly has eating and break times (recess), and times when his parents come. Therefore, he should understand the meaning of appointments to make sure he does not insist on leaving school or getting what he wants whenever he wants it.

• Respecting the teacher: It is not easy for the child to suddenly find himself in the presence of someone who will give him orders that he has to follow. Teach him to respect the teacher and do as he’s told.

• A lasting first impression: Tell your child that he should always be clean, obedient, civilized, and caring, especially on his first day because the first impression he gives will last. Make him pay attention to the cleanness of his hands and clothes, brush his teeth before going to bed, and not do anything that would hurt him.

• The importance of respecting the privacy of other children: Give your child everything he needs in his school day, from stationary, to food, drinks, and sweets, so he will not need other children’s staff. Emphasize that he should not go near other people’s belongings or take them.

• How to cooperate with others: Cooperating with others is something that he will face a lot in his day, whether in playing or studying. He, therefore, should understand that he will have friends with whom he shares things at school.

• Respecting the differences he will see: Your child must know that he will see many differences among those in his class, whether in religion, social class, or how their parents treat them. He might even meet a disabled child. So, these differences should be clear to him in order to be able to deal with them without feeling inferior. It should also be emphasized that they’re all equal.

How to help your child get dressed?

With the beginning of your child’s first year at school, and maybe even in the first few years of elementary schools, your child might have some problems with his supplies or uniform that you’ll need to help him address. Family consultant Suad Al Bayyari lists some of the problems that the child and his mother might come across when it comes to school supplies:
• Difficulty in buttoning his clothes on his own
• Difficulty in zipping his new pants
• Difficulty in wearing his shoes right, such as wearing the left shoe in the right foot
• Closing his school bag
• Carrying his school bag
• Refusing to take his lunch box to school
-The mother can follow some simple steps to help her child overcome the previous problems as well as others, and save the time in order to get to school on time:
• The child doesn’t button his shirt neatly, skipping a button or a buttonhole when wearing his clothes. For example, you can wrap a red thread on the first button and a red thread on the opposite side in the buttonhole, to help him get used to having the buttons and holes aligned, and not waste his time buttoning them wrong. Day by day, he will be able to check the hemline of the two sides of the shirt to make sure he does not forget any buttons and have to unbutton them all over again, which would stress him out, and subsequently stress you out if you are helping him.

• When it comes to zipping his new pants, you can swipe a piece of candle on both sides to make them more flexible and easier to open and close.

• Resew all buttons and don’t rely on how they were sewed with sewing machines when you first bought them; because they might fall off and embarrass your child. Resew them at home with a needle and a thread to make sure they don’t fall and allow kids to make fun of him, especially the front button above the pants’ zipper, which could let the pants fall to the ground.

• To make him wear his shoes right, bring an animal sticker, a cow for example, and split it from the middle, placing the first part on the right shoe (the head, feet, and half the body of the animal), and the second half, which ends with the tail of the animal, on the left shoe. This way, he will put the two shoes next to each other to see the whole cow and wear his shoes correctly.

• Pick a bright colorful bag; it would help car drivers see your child crossing the street when it is foggy or raining.

• To carry his bag right, the child should carry it from a chair his height, and not from the floor.

• Pick a bag that can be stretched to make it comfortable for the child.

• Pick a nice, decorated lunchbox that he would accept taking with him. Some lunchboxes produce music when they are opened or say nice words such as “thank you”.

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