It’s August! Time for most children to go back to school. Some children transition easily and happily to school while others struggle. Most adults become anxious when we start something new. So, it’s no surprise that children are anxious about a new school year, new teachers, new classmates and — worst of all for some — homework and less time to have fun.
No matter the age, ability or aptitude of a child, a few simple rules can make the start of a new school year run smoothly.
- Remind your child that he or she is not alone. Classmates are uneasy, too, about that first day of the new school year. Even school personnel look forward to the new year with excitement and some “butterflies in the stomach” just like their students.
- If your child has a neighborhood friend, maybe they can be back-to-school buddies. Going through those doors on the first day is always easier with a friend.
- Make back to school fun and not stressful. Get the shopping done early and begin the school routine in advance. A set bedtime, before school and after school routine are recommended.
- Remind your child how back to school is fun – seeing old friends, making new friends, and using new back-to-school supplies. Emphasize their favorite subjects even if they are lunch and recess.
- Be proactive about school discipline issues. Start before the school year begins in creating a support team to assure your child’s success.
The back-to-school checklist can and should include a behavioral health assessment especially if your child has had behavior challenges in the past at school.