With any new transition, allow kids time to adjust. Soon the routine of going back to school will feel like the” norm” but until then, try these 12 tips to help you and your kiddos ease back into school.
- Be positive. Focus on the positive things about returning to school, such as seeing friends making new friends.
- Kids talk. Parents listen. Let kids talk about their fears and/or anxieties and things that are stressing them out.
- Be available the first week back. Consider adjusting your schedule so you're home when the kids get out of school for the first week. If you can't be home, have a reliable way for your kids to get ahold of you.
- Plan the after school routine. If they're home alone establish rules and expectations with your kids
- Know the (dress) code. Make sure you're aware of the dress code rules before going school shopping! Check with your child's school to make sure you understand what's allowed (and what's not) at your school.
- Plan ahead for lunches. Pack a lunch or buy lunch at school. Shop for food to pack lunches. It’s cheaper and healthier!
- Immunizations need to be up to date. Be sure your children are up to date on their immunizations before they head back to school.
- Address special medical needs early. Does your child need medications administered or an update on their medical condition? If so, touch base with the nurse before school starts.
- Know the school schedule. Do you know your child's school start time and end times and how your child is getting to and from school? Have those conversations early so your child is prepared for the first day.
- Stranger safety. If your kids are walking or biking to school, discuss a safe route and rules about strangers approaching them. Develop a code word that the person picking them up (if not you) needs to know in advance.
- Create a homework plan. Parents usually dread homework as much as kids. Set rules about social media and screen time to balance the need to study and stay on top of school work. If your child has an after school job or sport they play, account for this time away from home and making sure kids have some balance, too.
- Communication is key. Most of all, whether it's the first day of school or the last, make sure your kids know you're there to listen to their feelings and concerns, and that you don't expect perfection — only that they try their best