The new school year is right around the corner! For many students the start of a new school year is exciting, it’s a fresh start and your child may be looking forward to seeing friends with whom they’ve lost touch over the summer. Other students, particularly those beginning the school year at a new school, may be nervous or anxious about the start of a new year. Here are some tips to help ease the transition if your child is dreading going back to school:
Keep it positive
Talk about the fun and exciting events that coincide with the new school year, such as field trips, interesting activities, new friends, etc. It can also be helpful to share your own favorite memories from school. Keep a positive attitude and show enthusiasm for the upcoming year and all the opportunities that await your child.
Do a walk through
If possible, visit your school before the first day of school so your student can see where his classroom and locker will be located. Also familiarize your child with key places like the bathrooms, the cafeteria, the gym and the library.
Join an after school activity
Encourage your child to join a school club, sports team or other extracurricular activity. Getting involved will help her meet other kids with similar interests and feel part of the school community.
Talk about it
Allow your child to talk about his concerns, fears and what can be done to feel better about the transition. This is a great opportunity to teach him about healthy ways to handle stress and move past it.
Once school has begun it’s also important to ask about school. It shows that you value his education and are there to help navigate his new surroundings. You will likely receive one word answers from general questions, like “How was school?”, so try to ask more specific questions that encourage thought provoking answers.
Get enough sleep
A lack of sleep has a direct effect on mood and attitude, so be sure your child is getting enough. This can be easier said than done during the first few days of school if your student has been enjoying a summer full of late nights and lazy mornings, not to mention the stress and anxiety of a new school can make it more difficult to sleep properly. It is a good idea to encourage your child to go to bed and wake up earlier to help her acclimate to her school year sleep routine.
Doing something special together
Plan a special activity that you can do one-on-one. Carving out some time to spend alone together will make your child feel appreciated and provide a welcome distraction.
Switching schools isn’t easy, even for an outgoing child who does well academically and makes friends easily. If your kids have never changed schools before the fear of the unknown can seem downright overwhelming. It’s important to focus on the good things that come along with the move, especially if your child was struggling at his old school. Remind your child that your there to help and that along with change comes great potential.