The start of a new school year is very exciting for some, but for others, it may cause some anxiety with the new adjustment. Here are some tips to help both you and your child smoothly adapt to the change.

Meet the teacher

Break the ice before school starts by meeting your teacher. Many kids fear that they won’t like their teacher. Be sure to attend open houses or back-to-school night if your school has them. Take advantage of the teachers who welcome phone calls or e-mails as well.

If you’re unable to speak with your teacher before school starts, try to find a picture on the school’s website or yearbook, that way your child can put a name with a face. If the new teacher sends a welcome letter, be sure to read the letter with your child so your student knows all about him or her and their expectations.

Tour the School

It is very important to attend an open house if your school has one. Familiarizing your child with their environment will help avoid nervousness on the first day. Together you can get to know the teacher more, see the classroom and your student’s desk, and get to look at or even play on the playground.

If you have an older child, you may ask to get a tour of the school to help refresh his or her memory, as well as yours.

Connect with friends

It’s key for your child to stay in touch with friends over summer break. Try calling the friend’s parent to find out what classroom their child is in. Be sure to plan something for your children to do together to refresh their relationship before the school year begins.

Get Supplies Early

Locate the class supply list and take a shopping trip with your student to get all the necessary items. Having all of the right things will help your student feel more ready and prepared to go back to school. Be sure to allow your child to pick out a few “cool” items to make them more excited to start class again.

School supply lists might provide an insight on what to expect during the school year. If some of the items are new to your child, be sure to practice using them so that your child is comfortable using them when they are required to during school.

Don’t do last-minute cramming

It’s very important to continue learning throughout the summer time as well, but don’t just do it the last few weeks of vacation. This could cause your child anxiety and remind them what they have forgotten instead of what they remember. Your child deserves downtime and a break. If you want to have your child continue to learn throughout the summer, spread the learning throughout the whole summer for a small amount of time at each sitting.

Ease into the routine

Practice your first-day-of-school routine a few days before the first day of school. If you have any problems, hopefully they occur during your practice days. Routines will help your child feel more comfortable and establishing a first day of school routine will make the first day go much smoother causing less anxiety.

Establish a regular bedtime

Children should have a regular bedtime every night and stick to it. It’s important for your child’s wake-up time to stay about the same on the weekends as well, varying only 1-1.5 hours if necessary.

Create a relaxing bedtime for your child such as a warm bath or reading a story.

Avoid drinks with caffeine less than six hours before bedtime. Also, don’t let your child eat a large meal right before bedtime. This can cause stomach pain and weird dreams, making it hard to get a good night sleep.

Infants and children should be put to bed when they appear tired but may still be awake. Putting them to bed is better than letting them fall asleep in a parent’s arms or another room. Make sure to avoid getting into your child’s bed with them to help them fall asleep.

Good luck in the fall!! 🙂

-Lauren L.


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