It’s that time of year to start thinking about getting ready to go back to school. Starting a new school year can seem fun and exciting but also can bring on anxiety.
Here are some tips to help ease those fears and help you get back on track for the year.
Meet the new teacher/instructor.
One of the biggest fears is wondering if you or your child will like the new teacher or instructor.
- Take advantage of the school’s open house.
- Email or call the teacher in order to get to know each other before the year starts.
Check out the school/campus.
Make sure you and your child get familiar with the school before heading back.
- Find classrooms and desks, and explore other parts of the school
- If you have an older child heading back, ask them to take you on a tour of the school to help refresh memories.
Make sure you or your child are ready for school by getting a list of items needed for the year.
- Allow for a few splurge items to get your or child excited for back-to-school: special notebook or favorite-colored pen can help make going back to school fun.
- Explain or learn how new supplies might be used and practice before using them in class.
Ease back to a routine.
Switching from a summer of late nights and sleeping in can be tough for everyone. You can avoid the chaos by easing into a schedule.
“Biggest piece of advice is to keep babies and children on a schedule and routine throughout the day and night,” said Dean of Nursing at Minnesota School for Richfield, Kendra Saal, MSN, RN.
- Set an alarm, go through morning rituals and get into the car or on the bus on time a few days in advance – practice makes perfect.
- Routines can help you and your kids feel comfortable for the first day of school.
- Start a bedtime schedule about two weeks in advance to avoid being tired.
- Set an alarm or notification 30 minutes before bedtime.
- Limit things like mobile devices and electronics before bedtime.
- Pick out clothes the night before.
- Pack school bag/lunch the night before.
- Leave time for breakfast.
Plan healthy lunches and snacks.
The better you plan out the meals in your home, the healthier choices you will make for you and your kids. When you pack protein-rich snacks and lunches, balanced with fruits, vegetables, and other wholesome items, you ensure that your children will have the energy and brainpower to make it through the school days.
Update Medical Records.
Most schools will let you know if your shot records are out of date, but you can go beyond that? Make sure teachers and administrators have a complete list of any medical concerns regarding your kids, including allergies. You will also want to be sure that all emergency contacts are up to date.
Talk to your kids about bullying.
Research shows that one in three kids experience bullying at some point in their school career—and in the increasingly digital world, the consequences can be extreme. Make sure your kids understand the right way to treat their peers, and when to speak up if they see someone else being bullied. Also, make sure they know when to come to you if they feel they are being bullied.
Ask your kids about their concerns.
The start of school can also bring some anxiety—especially when it comes to the unknown. Take a few minutes to ask your kids what they are most looking forward to during the school year, and what things may be worrying them. The little chat can help them work through any worries and clear up any issues that could lead to a bumpy start
Other useful tips.
- Encourage your child to read at least one book before the school year begins.
- Refresh rules about screen time or electronics for the school year: what’s allowed and when.
- Use a timer to get your kids focused for specific amounts of time.
- Create an area where you or your kids can store school supplies and technology or work on homework, projects, etc.
- Schedule at least 30 minutes a day for some “you time.”
Take a breath and remember to have fun!