The end of summer is fast approaching (sad, I know), which means it's time to start thinking about getting your kids back-to-school ready. This isn't an easy task for anyone and the kids certainly dread it, but getting organized before you start, can make this transition a bit easier.
Here are six tips to help make the transition a little smoother:
Routine is key:
Helping your child get back into a regular sleep and wake schedule a few weeks before school starts is important. Start by making bed-time and wake-time a little bit earlier everyday to ease them into it. This will help them (and you!) adjust to early mornings and long days.
Listen to their anxieties:
Starting a new school year can be daunting for some kids and they may struggle to share those anxieties. Taking the time to listen to their concerns and talk through any worries they may have will show your child it is okay to talk about their feelings and that some of their worries may have easier solutions than they think.
Set up a designated homework space for your child and make sure they have all the supplies they need. Making their space comfortable - whether it be their favorite spot in the house, a comfy chair, specific lighting, oil diffuser or candles (for those old enough to be around fire unsupervised), will help them feel more relaxed when doing homework and keep them focused. A little bit of organization can go a long way in making the school year less stressful.
Assess their needs:
Assessing their needs typically entails seeing if they need school supplies or new school clothing for the year, however, the first thing that pops into my mind about assessing their needs: emotional needs. Starting school can be tough for children that have struggled with school in the past (for various reasons). This can be your chance to either speak to the school counselor about options or reach out for a mental health practitioner.
Scheduling their back-to-school physical:
As a kid, I always knew, school time meant doctor time. Scheduling that back-to-school physical is extremely important and most schools require a physical prior to any sports season. If your child is interested in playing a sport this school year, it's best to get the physical done beforehand. Also, if (for whatever reason) their doctor is concerned about their health, things can get sorted out before the school year gets hectic.
Get them involved in sports or other activities:
Joining a team or club is a great way for kids to make new friends and stay active. It's also a great way to help them relieve any stress they may be feeling about/during the school year. Sports and activities don't have to be school districted related either. Taking the time to research options outside of school can be helpful for kids who are interested in other things as well!
With these tips in mind, you can help your child get back-to-school ready in no time! If you or your child struggles with transitions, reach out for help! If you notice your child is struggling throughout the school year, we are here to help!
Stephanie Polizzi is a licensed psychotherapist (LMHC) in Scarsdale, NY at Peaceful Living Mental Health Counseling.