3 Great Ways To Avoid Back To School Tantrums

Every parent knows that sense of pain as the summer holidays draw to a close. Your sprogs have spent six weeks lazing around the house and bolting around the garden, watching far more TV than usual and going to bed far later than you probably should’ve let them. They’ve gotten used to doing their own thing – and you’ve loved watching them revel in their freedom.

But September is quickly speeding back around, and with this comes all those back to school tantrums: they don’t want to get out of bed, they don’t want to put on that new uniform, and they definitely don’t want to give up watching their favourite kid's tv programme every morning.

If you think you’ll get out of the door without the standard “But Mummy, WHY do I have to go?” you’ve got another thing coming.

But there are some things you can do to ease your kids’ transition back into school life; here are three failsafe methods for getting them back into the daily school grind with minimum fuss.

1. Get back into the routine early

Try starting the school day routine a week before your child has to go back to the classroom, and you’ll notice next to no fuss on the actual day.

Make sure they get up at the time they would on a usual school day, get dressed and eat breakfast with little TV. If possible, get them out of the house at the same time you would leave for school in the mornings – even if it’s just to pop to the local shop or go for a walk, it’ll help get them get used to getting ready in that time span.

Make sure lunch and dinner are at the same time they would have their food at school, and try not to let them watch TV or play video games between 8.30 and 3.30. If you can, encourage educational activities during this time period to get them back into the habit of learning.

Make sure their bath and bedtimes are the same as they have them on school days, it’s a lot easier then to get them back into a healthy routine before the tolls of being back in the classroom come in to effect - you don’t want super-tired, super-grumpy kids on your hands!

2. Get them excited

Hyping up the going back to school anticipation over the last couple of weeks of holiday can help improve your child’s attitude about going back, and work to gloss over any negative thoughts.

Try talking about how they’ll get to see the friends they haven’t seen much over the holidays, and if there’s a certain school club or extracurricular activity they like, encourage them in the thought that they’ll be able to start participating in this favourite activity again.

A small back to school treat can also help entice a positive attitude – for example, a new pencil case of their choice with a few new colourful gel pens. If your little one is lacking in confidence, try boosting it with something they can wear to school to make them feel special - something like a pack of hair clips or some cool new shoes will feel like great rewards for schools.

3. Make sure they’re prepared

Back to school anxiety can sometimes have other underlying causes. Make sure any homework set for the holidays has been completed, and that your little one is happy with what they’ve achieved.

If you feel like there might be another reason for their unwillingness to go back to school, try to sit down and discuss how they’re feeling. They may spill something you had never considered, though if they don’t want to talk about it, it may also be a sign that they’re not looking forward to seeing a certain member of their class, or are struggling to keep up with academic work.

If this is the case, reassure your child and make sure that they know you are on their side, and that you will help them deal with any problems that might crop up.

Good luck with quelling those tears and tantrums! 

Guest Writer

Our guest writer is Estelle Page. Estelle is an interior designer and mum of two; she has had plenty of experience quelling the back to school tears and tantrums and currently writes for