In this month’s video blog I share some of my favourite hints, tips and strategies for helping children handle transitioning from home to school .

Do you have any children in your household that struggle with making the transition from home to school?

It’s particularly hard this time of year – between the hot temperatures and all the adjustments kids have to make to all the changes the new school year brings, those little brains and bodies are pretty toasted by the end of the day!

Very often I see children who are angels at school, but as soon as they get in the car to go home, the gloves come off and they just fall apart.

Wearing to say the least!!

Not to worry, there are some simple things you can do help make those hard afternoons a whole lot easier…It basically is about 4 key things:

1. Connection – make sure you spend at least 15 minutes each afternoon evening just focussed on your children – no chores, no homework – no phones or screens. Do things that your child wants to do with you. This special time can really make the difference to your child’s ability to cope.

2. Timing – having predictable routines that work; review what you do, a simple change in sequence of activities can make all the difference e.g. a bath before dinner might make more sense than after, depending how your children handle it.

3. Environment – identify a space that suits your child for “chilling out” and make sure they have time to use it either on their own or with others, depending on what helps them recharge their batteries best.

4. Tools:
Tactile toys – sand, play dough, Lego, Baff can all be very relaxing depending on your child’s preferences

Breathing Toys – ones that require taking deep breaths, such as blowing bubbles. Extra resistance is even better – try bubble volcanoes!

Heavy work – squeezing, pulling, pushing, weightbearing even heavy work of the mouth is great. One of Julia’s favourites is chewing or bubble gum.

Rhythmic movement – swings and rockers are good here. Consider a simple swing such as a tyre swing, just make sure you have somewhere safe and secure enough to hang it!

Music – Julia lists her 3 favourite CDs for different children and different times of the afternoon/evening

Smell – favourite smells associated with absent parents can be very calming; or Lavender, even in sand can be quite calming.

This is just a small selection of some of Julia’s favourite things to do – for more detail you can download the free booklet – “10 Top Tips for Calming Kids Quickly” from our website

Helping children transition is good for families and schools alike – so be sure to keep in touch with your child’s teachers about how they’re coping. If transition difficulties persist past first term, it might be an idea to see a psychologist or OT for a bit extra help.


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Hard Afternoons – Some Simple Coping Strategies