Back-to-school jitters? Here are tips for a smooth transition

By Denise Pinkney

I remember the excitement of going back to school. To ease the butterflies in my stomach the night before the first day, I would organize my sock drawer. I’d match all my socks and make sure everything was in order. Somehow the simple act of sorting my socks seemed to ease my back-to-school jitters. And once the school year was going, sorting socks never held the same fascination.

Parents can help their child be ready for going back to school.

Going back to school is a big change, whether it’s the first day of first-grade, middle school or high school. And there are things you can do to help your child make a good transition.

Mental Health America offers these tips to help your child be ready for the return to school.

  1. If you’re interested and enthusiastic about the start of the school year, chances are your child will be confident and excited, too.
  2. Make an appointment to visit your child’s school before school starts. Walk around the school together and find classrooms, the lunchroom, playground and restrooms. This will make the first day of school less intimidating.
  3. Take time to listen to your child. Talk about things that he or she is worried about. Assure your child it’s normal to feel worried about the start of school.
  4. Once school has started, set time aside each day to talk to your child about what happened in school. Be positive about his or her new experiences.
  5. Encourage your child to join some school activities. It’s good to try new things.
  6. Attend your child’s school functions. Research show children who have involved parents perform better and are more likely to stay in school.
  7. Learn about what’s typical for physical, social and emotional development for your child’s age. This will help alert you to potential problems.

Do you have a routine that helps you prepare for the start of school?

We want to hear from you

Did you have a special routine before the first day of school? How did your parents help prepare you for your first day of school?What do you do to help your child prepare for his or her first day of the school year?

Denise Pinkney is an editor in the Communications department at Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota.

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