Home' The Monaro Post : The Monaro Post Newspaper - January 24, 2018 Contents The school holidays are drawing to a close and it’s time to
get organised for the new school and work year ahead. Not
feeling prepared? Don’t worry, you’re far from alone.
“Holidays disrupt routines for parents as well as children.
To have the best start possible to the New Year, it’s time to
get ready both physically and mentally and to get the entire
family’s routine back on track,” advises positive psychology
coach Kate Wilkie from Flourishing Mothers, a coaching
service to help mothers thrive and live flourishing lives by
building resilience to stress and boosting wellbeing.
Kate recommends thinking about resetting the entire
family’s eating and sleeping times at least a few days before
school and work start and it’s great to get your kids involved
in the planning so they understand what you’re trying to
During the holidays it’s fantastic to savour all the fun
experiences you’re having but as the holidays come to an end
you might need to be more mindful of normal routine. Helping
your kids to get back into the habit of earlier bedtime and
less screen time could be a useful goal, and set you all up for
less stress and happier mornings in the new school year, she
Kate also recommends sitting down with your children early
on in the New Year to put together a to-do list, which might
include shopping for school uniforms and stationery.
“Sit down with the family wall-chart or diary and schedule
in dates for shopping. Make it fun with special date stamps
such as Frixion Stamps which feature mini designs depicting
different activities, so they work well for children who are still
learning to read and write, plus they are erasable so you can
remove them if dates change,” she says.
As a bonus, handwriting your ‘to do’
list rather than typing it out on a smart
phone or tablet can help you remember
it. Research shows that traditional note-
taking using pen and paper results in higher
memory recall and learning compared
to when using a keyboard. A survey
conducted by Pilot Pen supports this.
“We surveyed 1200 Australians and
found that 90 per cent prefer to use a
pen and paper to make ‘to do’ lists and
shopping lists, rather than a tablet or smart
phone. Over 80 per cent said it was much
easier to remember something if they had
hand-written it,” says Mr John Johnston,
marketing manager, Pilot Pen Australia.
Holidays are meant for relaxing but if you
leave it to the last minute to get organised
for work and school, Kate warns you can
end up stressed and frazzled, ruining the
benefits from your time off.
“It may be the last thing you want, but being proactive and
organised will make you enjoy the benefits of the summer
holidays much longer,” says Kate.
“If your children feel nervous about the new school year,
there are many ways you can empower them so they feel
more prepared, both mentally and physically by discussing
going back to school with them ahead of time,” says Kate.
Here are her top tips on how to get your children ready for
going back to school.
1. Encourage your child’s natural
strengths and talents
If you have a curious child, get them
excited by telling them about all the things
they will be learning this year. If you have a
creative child, they might want to help cover
their text books with colourful paper or write
their name on their pencil case or lunch
2. Give them responsibility
Back to school is a great opportunity to
give your kids some responsibility. If you let
them do some things on their own they will
feel more competent and confident which
is great for their wellbeing. So have them
choose their own stationery and encourage
them to pack their own backpack. Helping
kids become more independent is also
great for the wellbeing of Mums!
3. Teach them the power of being
We all know how it feels running around
the house the morning of first day of
school, making lunch and packing. Avoid
that frazzled feeling and teach your children
the power of organisation by getting
everything ready the night before. Together,
make the lunch box, pack the backpack
and make sure the school uniform is ironed
and good to go for a relaxed start to the
4. Plan ahead
Schedule time to shop for shoes and
uniforms together at least one week before
school start so you don’t leave it until the
last minute. Sit down with the family wall-
chart or diary and schedule in dates for
shopping. Make it fun with special date
stamps such as Frixion Stamps which
feature mini motifs depicting different
activities, so they work well for children who
are still learning to read and write, plus they are erasable so
you can remove them if dates change.
Planning together with your child will teach them that
being proactive and organised is the best way to prepare for
anything in life, and it gives them a sense of ownership and
5. Create a gratitude habit
Talking to your kids about what went well during the day
is a great way to create and share positive emotions. Start
with paying attention to the positives and it can help to put
problems into perspective and discuss challenges more
6. Talk about concerns
Just as with adults, if your child’s fears go unexpressed,
the fears can feed upon themselves and increase anxiety, so
encourage your children to voice any worries they may have
before school starts. Give your child the opportunity to talk
about their fears and concerns about the new school year,
and work with them to come up with solutions together.
7. Celebrate the change
A great way to reduce back to school stress and get your
kid in a positive mindset, is to celebrate the new school year.
Take your child out for their favourite meal, surprise them with
colourful stationery, or take them to see that movie they’ve
been wanting to see.
Kate Wilkie is a positive psychology coach at Flourishing
Mothers. For more information, visit www.flourishingmothers.
Pilot Pen has a wide range of pens, highlighters and
stamps to help you get organised this New Year, available
in all major retailers, newsagents and stationery suppliers
nationally. Choose from across the range to make up your
perfect New Year stationery kit. For further information
Tel 6452 2334
Fax 6452 2134
69 Massie Street
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