Back to School: Parent Readiness
Your child is starting their first day in a new grade at a new school then *BAM!* it hits you… the tears begin to fall down your cheeks because YOU are just not ready for this. We feel that more of the preparations for a new school year are focused on the students; no one stops to think about what the parents are going through. Whether this is your first time seeing your child off to school or you are a veteran in this field, being prepared is one way to help the transition run a little smoother.
Here are some tips for parents to help feel more prepared for the first day of school:
- Stay POSITIVE! Children pick up on our attitudes, if you remain calm about the summer ending, your children will too. We want our children to be excited about the new school year instead of dreading the summer ending and returning to school. Take them shopping to pick out their school supplies.
- If your child is attending a new school, try to visit at least one week in advance. Let your child get familiar with classrooms, hallways and important offices, such as the principal and the nurse.
If possible, find out if there are any friends, relatives or neighbors in their class. Knowing a child and creating a buddy system makes the transition to move more smoothly.
- Start a bedtime schedule one week in advance of school so that your child gets at least 10 hours of sleep at night. Create a family calendar or schedule too! Helping your child pick out their clothes for the next day, getting their lunch ready and making sure everything they need is in their backpack for the next day.
A ‘safety first’ attitude is a very important part of preparing for the first day of school. You want your children to know traffic safety as well as physical safety. Young children should know their name, how to spell it, their telephone number and the number of a safe and responsible adult that is designated by their parents. Teach your child the proper way in advance to deal with bullies by reporting them to either a teacher or counselor. This will help ease any concerns you have while your child is away at school during the day.
- Talk with your children about their feelings and invite them to participate in a conversation that gives them some sense of control. Never embarrass, discount or demean your children’s feelings. Ask them about their concerns and how they would like to be helped in this transition — what things parents can do and they can do as partners to make the first day of school a pleasant beginning. This is called the empathic process, and if you invest children in the discussion, they are more likely to follow a smooth outcome and go happily to school.
Back-to-School Preparation Tips for Parents