Your children have had a summer of holiday cheer and New Year joy with family and friends, but the holidays are at an end and the first day of school has made its way around. The last day of holiday can be a touchy period for children as they make their mental transition back to students. While this is a rite of passage that your children must go through, there are steps that can be taken to reduce the negative outlook the last day of holiday can bring.

Morning

The morning of the last day of holiday is the wake up call to your children that it is the last day of holiday. The key to this point is to remain open and positive. Your children don’t want to wake up with the bombardment of last day prepping as it creates a mental countdown of when the holiday ends. Use the morning time as a quiet relaxation period where your children can have breakfast, watch TV and read. Use the activities that relax your child to ensure they’re steady and calm for the next day, as a crazy activity filled last day will lead to sudden shock when there needs to be an abrupt mental change into preparation.

Afternoon

The afternoon time is a good period to begin preparations for their big day. Take this time to start packing bags and setting uniforms with your children. Your children will be in a calm relaxed state from their morning and be in a better frame of mind to begin addressing what needs to be done to get them ready. Remain light hearted, positive and fun in this time as the companionship you provide makes school prep a period of quality time instead of a task they need to do.

Night

The night brings the most vulnerable stage in the last hours of holiday. Your children are coming to the realisation that the holiday is in fact over and school starts tomorrow. At this point their bags are packed and they’ve had a nice relaxing day, all that is left to do is to provide reassurance of their situation. Take the time to sit with your children before bed and talk about how their feeling, let them express their emotion and encourage them by reminding them of all the positives that come with school (e.g. friends or school sport). Once you have had a nice talk, end the discussion by reminding them that you are there for them, to not worry and give it their best. Deep down your children may already know all these things, but by addressing it you create security and comfort knowing their feelings are understood.

From here the rest is up to them. They will wake up in the morning and partake in the timely tradition of the first day of school. Whether or not your children are negative about school and despite the fact that they will reacclimatise within a matter of days, the actions you take will instil positive outlooks towards education and will someday be used by them when it’s their time to wake up their children on the last day before the first day.