How to Make Sure Your Kids are Ready For This School Year
Hello fellow parents! It’s that time of year again where we begin to prepare our kids to return to school.
I can already hear the complaining from my teenagers about having to get up early or how dumb school can be. My favorite complaint is about how awful school lunches can be. All of these concerns are real for kids but don’t take them personally as they are very developmental. It’s natural and expected for kids to not look forward to the school year starting.
As a parent we want our kids to enjoy their education however sometimes we have to offer support and encouragement to set them up for success. Support can look like several things:
1.) Go back-to-school shopping. Back-to-school shopping is a great way to engage our kids in starting school. I mean who doesn’t like to shop for something new? I like to start with the basics of school supplies and buying a new backpack. Then shop for some new clothes to start the year off right. My motto is “look good to feel good” which will help our kids feel confident when school starts.
2.) Attend school orientations. Attending school orientation meetings as a family is another way to offer support so our kids don’t feel alone. Learning about our kid’s school schedule will help reduce anxiety by helping them know what to expect. This is also a wonderful opportunity to build relationships with teachers and school administrators!
3.) Set up a bedtime routine. Setting up a bedtime routine that is developmentally appropriate will help our kid’s transition from their relaxing summer schedule to a structured schedule which will provide them the amount of sleep necessary to perform their best at school. It’s typically recommended for kids to get at least eight hours of uninterrupted sleep a night however hours may vary by age. Expect some resistance with this so be prepared to adjust your bedtime routine if necessary to role model support.
Transitioning our kids back to school is not just a process but a life skill. Our kids will be transitioning in many different ways across their lifespan so practicing these skills now is a great way to support life-long success. And above all, we as the parent set the tone by role modeling with a positive attitude. Good luck and to all our kids and families for having a great school year!
These blogs were written by members of the CHI Health Behavioral Care team.