Lisa Archer, Educational & Developmental Psychologist, Strong Minds Psychology
Updated post from January 2018 with edits
Congratulations! You did it! You are about to send your child/ren off to school! Whether it is your first, or your final baby you are dropping off, it is always an event to be remembered, and celebrated.
Every parent/carer experiences transition to school in a different way, but you should all be very proud of the myriad of things you have done to contribute to the safe, healthy, and ready to learn child (or teen) you are sending out the door.
I’ve already shared some ideas for how your child/ren can be supported at kindergarten and school, but I cannot forget the fabulous folk who have made that happen, so here are some tips for you!
Organise a catch up
Invite one or more other parents and carers to get together after drop off. Whether your preferred ingredients are coffee, chocolate and tissues, or champagne, strawberries and party poppers, having people around you who share your story is a great thing!
If you are in the group needing the tissues, make sure you save your tears (of joy, pride, or sadness) for in the car, or better yet, when you are with your friends. It might be best to organise the catch up at someone’s house, particularly if you prefer to keep your emotional displays out of the local cafe!
You have worked hard!
Some may say to you, “Well you’d better start looking for work”… but don’t listen to them! You’ve earned a break. This might be peace and quiet at the gym or a walk after drop off, or it might be curled up in a dressing gown watching daytime television. Either way – own it!
You can get onto the next stages of increasing/beginning a career, or taking on study, etc, after you breathe for five minutes! Read a book, sit in peace, dance around the house to YOUR music, whatever it is that makes you smile.
I know, I know, I just told you to sit down and chill out… but – if you have spent the past XX years predominantly in unpaid employment, supporting your child/ren, then there will be some time available. Choosing specific tasks that you enjoy, or that give you purpose or drive, will help to prevent potential feelings of grief and loss, and changes in self-identity as your role adjusts. This could include helping at school/kinder once a week (e.g. reading, canteen), volunteering for a local organisation, enrolling in a short course, joining a book club or sporting team, or starting that business you were dreaming of.
Check out our other tips on the return to school in 2019- for primary school/kinder students, parents, and the letter to the educator.
If you need additional support enhancing your mental health, or supporting the mental health of a loved one, call the team at Strong Minds Psychology on 03 5967 1438, or complete the form below.
About the Author:
Lisa is an Educational & Developmental Psychologist, and the founder of Strong Minds Psychology. Lisa has a decade of experience working in & with school staff to support the educational, social, & emotional needs of children throughout their school career, and beyond. Lisa thrives on working with people in a team approach, creating positive support networks for children and adults. She provides assessments, counselling and therapy – helping with stress, anxiety, depression, self-esteem, grief & loss, social skills, and anger management.