Back-to-School Parenting Tips for Success
As your child thinks about going back to school, there may be feelings of excitement, uncertainty or worry. That's true for most of us when a significant change is on the horizon and we all appreciate knowing what to expect. Follow these eight simple tips and consider the resources included below to help your child and family find success in the upcoming school year.
Eight Simple Tips for Success in the New School Year
Get in a routine: You can be sure your child does his or her best by getting them to sleep early and eating a healthy breakfast each day before school. Ease your child into a nightly routine as summer vacation winds down so your child goes to bed at a consistent time each night. Encourage healthy eating by having healthy snacks on hand for after school as well.
- Visit the school: Take your child on a visit to the school they'll be attending. Walk around the playground and, if possible, meet with the teacher. This will help ease their concerns, especially if it's a new school.
- School supplies: Going shopping for school supplies and clothes can help get your child excited to go back to school. Make it fun. Make sure you get a list of supplies your child will need from their school or teacher. The list may seem long, and some items may seem unnecessary, but make sure and get everything. If you're unable to afford the items, use 2-1-1 to search for local agencies that may be able to give you the necessary supplies.
- Encourage independence: Continue encouraging your child to do things for him or herself. Activities such as getting ready for school or learning to tie shoes and zip coats give a child independence and self-confidence. If your child accomplishes this at home, she will feel able to do new things at school. Your child will be proud of your confidence in him or her as well.
- Talk about School: Allow your child to express his feelings about school (both good and bad). Be there to answer questions and ask about the school day. What did your child do and learn and like about school? Be positive and stay interested.
- Be involved: Children whose parents are involved in their education are generally more engaged than children whose parents are not involved. Take advantage of parent-teacher conferences and support the work their doing in the classroom at home.
- Homework: Believe it or not, homework may begin as early as kindergarten. Take advantage of it. It's a great way for you to get to know what your child is learning and spend time with them.
- Saying goodbye: For young children, make goodbyes short and cheerful. Even though the goodbye may be hard for parents, try not to let your child see you cry as you say "goodbye". Many children are worried about what their parents will do without them. It makes it hard for them to focus on what is happening at school because they are concerned that their parents are missing them too much.