The beginning of the new school year brings on a myriad of emotions: sadness about the end of the summer vacation, excitement about the new school year and even a little anxiety. Parents don’t fret! Here are some sure-fire tips on how to keep the kiddos happy and focused for their new school adventures!
Tour the school and meet all educators that work with your kids
Every kid worries about their new teacher. Will they like me? Will I like them? Will they get who I am? An easy way for kids to ease into their new school environment is to get to know their teachers as well as they lay of the land that they’ll be learning and playing in. Take full advantage of your kid’s school open house events. Take a tour of their school and try to have as much one-on-one time with their educators to get a sense of the direction that they are taking. Unlike in many parents time, teachers now allow parents access to online grading systems and encourage open communication via email to ensure that your children remain on the right track.
Having the proper tools
Making sure to arm your kids with the basic school supplies is a time honored store adventure every August…but it is also important for your kids to know what special items are needed to effectively work in their class. Reach out to your kid’s instructors to find out if there will be any special supplies needed for current or upcoming projects. Get your kids excited about putting in the work with colorful notebooks, pencils and pens. The more you show excitement about this adventure, the more likely your kids will be excited to have it!
Connecting with friends
One of the best parts of going back to school is seeing your best buds that you didn’t get to see over the busy summer months. You may want to reach out to the parents of your kid’s bestie to see what class or classes they are in and to make weekend playdate or get-together plans so that the kids can share their first day/week of school experiences. This allows them to become more diverse in their communication and understanding of other’s experiences. Carpooling is also a great way to save money and allow the kids to bond and connect.
Follow up at the end of the day
A great way to show your kids that you are on the same page with them, is by having an end of the school day chat about what they learned or experienced. With younger kids, this is usually pretty easy as they can’t wait to get home to tell their parents about it all, but with older kids it may be like pulling teeth. Setting aside a fun ritual of a fun yummy snack and a calm and open discussion can help your tween or teen open up a bit about their school day. The more effort you put into understanding, the more they will want to open up to you.
Take it slow
The transition from summer to the new school year can be rough on the ENTIRE family. Parents are happy to get some peace and quiet back, but deep down you know you’ll miss having them around. Equally for kids; their sweet summer freedom has now been traded for studying and homework. Often times, kids can suffer from a little post-summer depression. Make sure to check in with your kids regularly to see where their head is at. Avoid the first day of school drama by sticking to a solid routine. Utilize alarm clocks and timers to keep your kids on track in the morning as they prep for school. Designate a place for backpacks and school necessities near your door and teach your kids how to checklist their school items to reduce the chances of forgetting anything.
For a complete list of physical safety tips from riding the bus to how to make a backpack safe, click here and see what the professions at HealthyChildren.org recommend!
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