How to Help Your Toddler Adjust When Their Siblings Go to School
Back-to-school time can be hard for parents as they watch their babies head off into the world. It's both exciting and nerve-wracking to wonder how they're going to like it — if they're going to adjust — but it's hard not only on you or your child going to school.
Transitions are hard for your younger kids, too. And if your toddler is used to playing with their older sibling, having them gone all day can be a real adjustment.
As you get your older kids used to the new school year, here are some tips to help your toddler adjust when their siblings go off to school for the day.
Adjust their schedule earlier
If you know that school pick up is going to hit right in the middle of naptime, adjust your toddler's nap as early as you can. It may seem easier to wake them up earlier, but if your toddler is already feeling the pains of missing their siblings, you don't want them to be extra cranky, too.
Doing so as far away from the first day as you can is ideal, but if that's not possible, start putting them down for a nap 15 minutes earlier and adjust slowly.
Find something for just them
Their siblings are going to come home with stories, have new backpacks and friends, among other things, and that can be hard for toddlers who want to be “big,” too. Find something for only them — whether that be an hour at the library a week or a community class they can participate in. It won't only give them stories to tell, too, but it will help keep them busier during the day and not miss their brothers and/or sisters as much.
Include them in the chaos
During homework time, set a place for your toddler to work on coloring or on writing letters or just playing on the iPad. Allow them to feel a part of what's going on and not left out. Include them in the school drop off and pick up if that's possible and make the goodbye each morning quick and not drawn out.
Talk them through it
Toddlers are at that funny age when they get what's going on but don't often understand why. They can see their siblings go away for the day and not be sure if they're going to come back. They wonder why the can't go, too, or what they're supposed to do when they're gone. Talk to them about it in language that your toddler understands and allow a lot of opportunities for them to ask questions — even if they ask over and over.
What are your tips for helping your toddler with back-to-school transitions? Share in the comments!