It’s not just the kids who have to prepare for a new school year – parents could also use a lesson in how to handle the much-anticipated first day. To make the back-to-school transition easy, follow these tips:
- Start the night before. If you’ve been lax about bedtime, then it’s time to get back on schedule. Make sure your kids get enough sleep the night before school so they can arrive not only feeling recharged but also less anxious. Keep electronics out of their bedrooms – use of computers, video games or cell phones before bed can lead to poor sleep.
- Do your homework. School mornings – especially the first day of school – can be hectic. Lay out your kids’ clothes the night before. Plan your breakfast, set the table and pack lunches and backpacks. Remember, a backpack should never weigh more than 10-20% of your child’s body weight.
- Get up early. This means you can have a relaxed breakfast, leave enough time to deal with upsets – and still get your kids to school on time.
- Learn to delegate. When kids are little, parents must do everything for them, and sometimes we just stay in that habit. A new school year is an ideal time to take a look at kids’ skills and add new jobs to their school morning routine.
- Ease anxieties. If your child is starting kindergarten or preschool, beginning high school or heading to a new school, the first day of school can be an especially anxious time. Talk about anxieties or fears and find ways to help cope. Reassure your child that they are not the only who is uneasy about starting school.
- Drive safely. Be patient during drop-off and pickup if you drive your student to school. The roads surrounding schools will be congested. Stop and wait for school buses when red lights are flashing.
- Find out how your child’s school deals with emergencies. Whether it’s a lock-down situation or a bad fall on the playground, find out how your child’s school handles emergencies and review your child’s emergency contact list to be sure it’s up-to-date.