3 tips for getting your child back-to-school ready

3 tips for getting your child back-to-school ready

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Estimated read time: 4-5 minutes

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NORTH OGDEN — Just as quickly as summer set in, it’s already time to think about school starting again.

The days are still long, but as the calendar prepares to turn to August things start to change. Instead of aisles in the store being stocked with pool toys and ways to stay cool, you may notice that they've been replaced with school supplies. As you start thinking about getting those last items finished off the summer bucket list it may also be time to start getting your child ready for the back-to-school transition.

Children can quickly fall into the summer routine and enjoy some of the control that they have during this time. As school draws closer, some feelings may start to pop up about that change.

Some kids experience excitement over getting to see friends again, while others may experience stronger emotions about it. For example, when thinking, “Will I like my teacher this year?” it may spur feelings of worry or fear. If you have an older child that is getting ready to move to a different school, they may be fearful about new surroundings or getting lost.

So, how do you help your son or daughter address these upcoming changes and get off to a good start? Here are a few ideas:

Don’t wait to get nighttime and morning routines back on schedule

Sleep and a stable routine are important for kids, especially when it comes to school. Routines also help diminish the likelihood of stressful mornings for both you and your child.

You may want to get your child in bed around your desired time about a week before school starts. You may also want to utilize an alarm to get them used to that experience and then complete your morning routine after they get up. This way, both parents and the child get practice in this process.

Keep an eye out for emotions and talk about feelings around school

As mentioned earlier, your child may have quite the mix of emotions about heading back to school this year. Sometimes, you may even notice a change in his or her behavior in those last weeks of summer. For example, he or she may be a little more irritable than normal about completing chores, or cry more easily when he or she is frustrated.

While school may not be the only reason that this is occurring, your child may not know how to express those feelings about this change openly. You can keep the dialogue open by checking in about school and validating those emotions for your child. It may also be helpful to point out some of the positive emotions involved with school and highlight some of your personal experiences.


Build connections before school starts

This one may seem a little bit like a no-brainer, but it is worth considering. One of the most important connections that your child will have throughout the year will be the one that they have with their teacher and other school personnel. It will be helpful for these connections to grow by attending a back-to-school night and talking with the teacher and others. It will also help your kid to become more comfortable with his or her school’s layout and the classroom.

Additionally, you may want to help your child have a social connection with a friend in the neighborhood by setting them up to walk to school or ride the bus together. It may take off some of the pressure that your child may feel to talk to new people in their environment.

Change is not easy for most of us, especially kids. They don’t have the practice down of expressing negative emotions as easily as adults do and may even lack awareness of these feelings at times. You can help your child process these feelings by continuing to talk about school and practicing for a successful year in advance. The more comfortable you and your child are about the upcoming year, the more likely it is that the year will go by quickly for both of you.

About the Author: Kelci Beus \----------------------------

Kelci Beus holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Weber State University. She also has a master’s degree in community counseling from Washington State University. Kelci works at Tree of Life Counseling Center in North Ogden, Utah.

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