fresh no ads
5 back-to-school tips for parents, kids |

Health And Family

5 back-to-school tips for parents, kids

Dolly Dy-Zulueta -
5 back-to-school tips for parents, kids
Many Philippine schools are expected to open the school year 2023-2024 on Monday, August 29, 2023.
The STAR / Boy Santos, file

MANILA, Philippines — It is back-to-school time for schoolchildren. If you’ve got some and they are still quite young, chances are that you are going to have problems when school time comes and you have not prepared them for it.

Why not turn to parenting experts Kristin Gallant and Deena Margolin for some practical tips? The real-life best friends and moms and trail-blazing duo is behind Big Little Feelings, which has over 3.1 million followers on social media.

Here are some back-to-school tips from Gallant and Margolin:

1. Prep prep prep!

Uncertainty and random changes can lead to fear and panic, which means more clinging and melting down. When you make your kids understand what to expect, it helps them feel safe and makes the transition away from you or home easier.

Read books about school, such as "Elmo Back to School" and "Daniel Tiger Goes to School," or have them watch episodes about going to school.

Another way to get them prepped for school is to draw and talk about what their school routine will: “We will eat breakfast and get dressed at home. Then we will go in the car and I will drop you off at school. We will give hugs and kisses, then I will leave to go to work, and you will stay at school with your teachers and other kids to play. I will pick you up after rest time, and I can’t wait to see you.”

2. Accept and validate their feelings.

Pushing them and trying to change feelings makes them panic, cling and resist more. The more you can accept their feelings — without trying to change them — the more secure and safe you’re helping them feel.

They might feel excited, nervous, mad, or sad about going to school — all feelings are healthy and OK.

Parents can start by talking to their kids this way: “I hear you’re feeling sad/scared/mad about going back to school. We’ve spent a lot of time together at home. It’s ok to have big feelings about going to school.”

The duo stressed that there are a few things to avoid.

An example of toxic positivity can sound like this: "You'll LOVE school. All your friends will be there; you'll have fun!"

They also warn about minimizing the child's feelings ("Don't cry. Don't be scared. There's nothing scary about school.") and comparing them with other kids ("Look, Justin's having fun out there. And see? Maya is smiling, she's happy at school.").

3. Drop off hysterics.

Prior to drop off, remind them lots of times when you’ll be picking them up, and do your very best to be there at the time you said you would be, to build trust and reduce future worries.

If your child is screaming and crying at school drop off, what do you say?

“It’s time for school. I love you so much! Mommy will pick you up right after nap time,” they advised. 

Keep it brief, confident and consistent every time. Don’t waver. Lingering and hesitating cues the toddler brain to say, “Mom seems unsure. I knew something’s wrong here!” 

4. Give them a special reminder.

Give them a special object — a little love note, or even just drawing a heart on their hand — something they can look at and touch if they miss you during the day.

Parents can say this line: “Whenever you miss me, you can touch this heart on your hand and remember that our hearts are always connected, even when we’re apart.”

5. Extra TLC after pick up.

Remember that kids usually need a little extra TLC (tender loving care) after long days at school. It's normal for them to have more big feelings in the safety of their home after keeping it together at school all day.

Deena, a licensed marriage and family therapist (LMFT) specializing in children aged 1 to 6 and interpersonal neurobiology, and Kristin, whose background is in international maternal and childhood education, get real as the moms who show you how to make that expert parenting advice work in your home, even at bedtime, and perhaps with a glass of wine in tow.

Best friends since they were 14 years old, Deena and Kristin describe themselves as “complete opposites who perfectly complement each other,” and despite their different personalities, they are on the same page when it comes to how to raise kids.

In early 2020, they noticed a gap in the parenting stage for children who had aged out of infancy, and Big Little Feelings was created, research-driven and rooted in interpersonal neurobiology.

Research shows that relationships and early life experiences between a kid and a caregiver shape the way your brain becomes wired, which basically builds a child's inner narrative of who they are, how the world works, and how relationships work and build the coping skills that they're going to bring with them throughout life. How does the brain get shaped from childhood on? How can you foster it? How can you hold boundaries?

Through their courses and advice, they do not teach letting your kids walk all over you, but rather talking to them in a healthier way than past generations might have done.

Their real-life experience as moms juggling work and family and their professional experience working with parents and kids, instantly made Big Little Feelings the go-to resource for millions of parents trying to successfully navigate all of the ups and downs toddlerhood and preschool brings. They have also not shied away from sharing their own personal struggles — dealing with pregnancy struggles including miscarriages and in-vitro fertilization (IVF), negative body-image and mental health struggles, to the challenges of marriage and online mom-shamers.

RELATED: 'BYOB': Back-to-school, school break adventure must-haves


vuukle comment



Are you sure you want to log out?
Login is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

Get Updated:

Signup for the News Round now

or sign in with