For many families it’s that time of year when students return to school. Parents and children are adjusting to starting school, whether going to a new school or transitioning back to their previous school. This can be easy for some families, while others may be worried or anxious about how their child will cope with returning to school.
According to the National Association of School Psychologists, it is important to make sure your child gets off to a good start because it can influence your child’s attitude, confidence, and social and academic performance. To help improve adjustment and decrease difficulties it is necessary for parents to be prepared. The following suggestions from the American Psychological Association may be helpful for parents to help their child transition back to school.
1. Practice the first day of school routine.
Getting into a sleep routine before the first week of school will aide in easing the shock of waking up early. Organizing things at home — backpack, binder, lunchbox or cafeteria money — will help make the first morning go smoothly. Having healthy, yet kid-friendly lunches will help keep them energized throughout the day. Also, walking through the building and visiting your child’s locker and classroom will help ease anxiety of the unknown.
2. Get to know your neighbors.
If your child is starting a new school, walk around your block and get to know the neighborhood children. Try and set up a play date, or, for an older child, find out where neighborhood kids might go to safely hang out, like the community pool, recreation center or park.
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Note. This post was originally posted on BlackDoctor.org.
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Dr. Turner is a licensed psychologist with expertise in behavioral pediatrics, child mental health, disruptive behavior disorders, and minority mental health. He is also certified as a National Register Health Service Psychologist.