How To Help Your Child Transition Back To School

mom and son reading book together

Call me crazy, but I love the back to school feeling—the buzz of excitement as you pick out clothes and supplies, the obsessive checking of teachers and schedules, the frenzy that comes with the shift in season and the bittersweet realization that summer (or winter) is ending and the next season is underway.

Whether your child is heading to school for the first time, starting a new academic year, or coming back after winter break, preparing your child for the back to school routine is so important.

Here are a few tips to make this transition easier:

1. Invest in the Necessary Supplies

This goes without saying, but be sure that your child has all of the supplies he/she needs for class. Beyond the basics, like pencils, paper, a backpack, and other necessary school supplies, it’s also a good idea to check in with the school/teacher and take a peek at the syllabus to make sure there’s nothing specific your child will need.

PS: If you want to get a bunch of supplies in one go, you can purchase a school supply bundle (which comes in a handy little box kit!).

Another consideration is textbooks. Textbooks often take a bit to ship if you’re ordering online (even used ones!) so it’s a good idea to purchase them in advance. That way, your child will be ready to hit the ground running on the first day!

2. Support the Emotional Transition

It’s natural for your child to feel a range of emotions as they transition back to school (whether first day or first day back from break). They might be excited, anxious, nervous, or scared. Try to support them emotionally and let them know that it’s okay to feel these things. You can also provide some reassurance by telling them about your own experiences on the first day of school. This will help them feel more comfortable and prepared for what lies ahead!

The most important thing is to make sure your child knows that you are there for them (no matter what happens). If they have any questions or concerns, be sure to address them immediately, so they don’t feel overwhelmed or alone in this new experience. Showing your support will encourage them to feel confident and calm.

PS: If you’re looking for other ways to support your child’s emotions, check out our favorite resources, Coping Skills for Kids & Coping Skills for Teens!

3. Help Them Curate Their Individual Image 

On their first day, your child might want to look extra sharp and make a good impression on their peers and teachers. Encourage them to dress in what way feels comfortable and exciting for them (with respect to dress code, of course!). 

If possible, you can help your child pick out an outfit or two in advance, so they’re prepared and the morning routine takes less time. It’s also a good idea to check the weather forecast in your area to make sure that their outfit of choice is realistic.

As far as routines go, don’t forget the daily hygiene: teeth brushing, face washing, deodorant, etc. Although these routines may feel self-explanatory, with nerves they can get skipped!

PS: If you’re looking to improve your child’s teeth, you can find other tips on improving your child’s teeth here!

4. Establish Clear Communication With Teachers 

It is crucial to establish a good line of communication with your child’s teachers, regardless of whether it’s the first day of school or the first day back from break. This way, the teachers can reach out for any questions or concerns that might arise, and you can also check-in on your child.

You’ll want to make sure you are in regular contact throughout the year, too, so that you’re up-to-date on your child’s academic and social progress. Being an involved parent will help your child thrive during this exciting, yet nerve-wracking time of transition!

For more back to school tips, click here.

Featured Image Credit: Israel Palacio
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