It is that time of the year: back to school. Some children are starting school for the first time. Others are transitioning from elementary to middle school or middle to high school.

Some parents have never sent a child to school before. This can be an exciting, yet stressful time. Here are some tips on how to navigate the start of the new school year.

  • Meet your child’s new teacher or teachers as soon as possible. This can be done at the school’s open house or back-to-school night. Some teachers might even accept and respond to phone calls or emails. Connecting with teachers early on can ease a child’s fears, as well as some of your own as a parent.
  • Touring the school can be helpful for all ages, especially children attending new schools. Knowing the campus can alleviate a child’s nervousness on the first day of school. Even if your child knows the campus and has attended the school in the past, touring the school can refresh your child’s memory as well as yours. Another way to ease nervousness is by connecting your children to familiar friends before school starts.
  • Another important back-to-school tip is go school supply shopping with your child. Make sure to take the class supply list with you. (Places like OfficeMax, Staples and Lakeshore Learning Store have school supply list). Your child will feel more prepared. Also, give your child the opportunity to pick a couple of extras like a colorful notebook or fun pen. This enhances the fun aspect of going back to school. Also give your child a chance to practice using tools he or she has never used in order for them to feel prepared when they go to school.
  • Lastly, there are a few things to avoid when getting ready for back-to-school. Do not spend the last few weeks of summer reviewing your child’s material from the previous year. This can cause more anxiety by reminding them of what they have forgotten, not all that they remember. Avoid giving last minute messages to your child; give them clear messages. Finally, do not automatically jump into the new routine of going back to school. Ease into the new routine. Practice the first day routine in advance to avoid mayhem on the first day. At the end of the day, do everything to excite your child for going back to school and keep them from getting too nervous and anxious. Have a great school year!