Back to school can be stressful but it can also be a joyful time. It depends on how prepared you are and how far ahead you look to know how to handle situations.
If your child is moving to a new school you will need to take special consideration to help the student feel comfortable in their new learning environment. Going to back to school nights, visiting the classroom and teacher before school starts, Giving the student (if older) a map of the campus may help them to navigate and not get lost. Finding friends that your student may know at that school can make life easier. This could be someone from the neighborhood or church or other activities. The bottom line is to help your child find their place in their new environment and be active in their school.
Parents should try to volunteer as much as possible at the school that their student is attending. Parents should never underestimate the impact they have on their children’s lives when they get directly involved in what the child is doing.
The American Association of Pediatrics recently came out with an article that gave several tips on a broad spectrum of topics regarding this time of year. A few of these tips are:
- Talk to your child about the first day of school. Point out positive aspects of having a new school year.
- Find someone from your neighborhood that the child can walk or ride to school with that you feel comfortable with.
- Make sure that the backpack you choose is light and comfortable.
- Discuss safety with your child regarding getting to and from school. “Stranger danger” is a discussion we can’t have too many times with children of all ages.
- Make sure you have lunch and snacks if necessary for your child. Talk to the school to see what your options are and make sure you have it all in place before the first day of school.
- If your child is bullied make sure you teach them what they can do for themselves and always remain an active part of their school day.
- Know how to handle your child if they are the bully.
- Make sure you have child care in place for before or after school as needed.
- Develop good homework and study habits. Make a spot in your home that is away from unnecessary distractions. A comfortable place with plenty of light is optimal.
Keep in mind that this list is not conclusive for everything that a parent has to think about regarding the beginning of a school year. There is naturally back to school shopping, uniform shopping and more.