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As summer starts to wind down, every parent prepares for a new school year. Whether your kids are going to school for the first time, returning to a beloved school or moving to a new one, you’re likely a little excited for this fresh start.
On the other hand, you know from experience the change in daily routine can be hard on the whole family. As ready as you might feel, anxiety may creep in if you aren’t careful — and your kids can also pick up on your nervous energy. Head off the stress by being prepared with more than school supplies and clothes. Make sure you and your kids are mentally ready with these tips.
Tried-And-True Suggestions for a Healthy Transition
It’s natural for kids to feel anxious about the beginning of a new school year. Follow these tips to help your kids ease into their new routines:
Take your kids back-to-school shopping for new clothes and supplies. Also stock up on easy-to-pack lunch items that boost the mind and body, such as cereal, granola bars and fruit. Having everything in place will boost the confidence of the whole family.
Connect Them with Friends
If your kids are attending a new school, reach out to other parents and try to set up play dates or meet at the park so the kids can get to know some classmates before school starts. Ask the school to recommend local clubs or groups that your kids could join to meet potential classmates.
Do a Few Practice Runs
Start setting an alarm well before the first day of school so your kids can adjust to the new wake up time in advance. If your kids are attending a new school, arrange for a tour so they can meet the teachers and know what to expect on the first day. Every little thing you can practice, from locker combinations to finding the bus stop, will help your child relax when the big day comes.
Model a Positive Attitude
Keep your own anxiety about school starting to yourself and focus on the fun opportunities that a new school year brings. In addition, be available and open to listen to any worries your kids may have, and offer support through the transition to a new school year.
Outline the steps your kids will need to take to get ready for school each day and place the list in a prominent spot, like the front of the refrigerator. Your list might include getting dressed, eating breakfast, packing a lunch and brushing teeth before leaving for school.
Check in with a Check-up
Whether your child’s school requires a school physical or not, it’s a good idea to check in with his or her pediatrician for a health check-up to start the year out healthy and strong. This is a good opportunity to talk to your child’s pediatrician about school nutrition, sports or any other concerns that you have.
Have an Emergency Plan
Preparedness brings peace of mind. Download and print an Emergency Contact Card that your child can keep in their backpack. It allows you to list important phone numbers, medical allergies and more so your child and their teachers know who to call in case of emergency.
Start the School Year With an A+
Taking these steps to help your kids feel more comfortable about starting a new school year will go a long way to keeping peace in your home. Before you know it, your kids will be settled into the routine.
If you’re in need of a pediatrician, we’re here to help. Find a pediatrician that will be your child’s partner in whole health today.