The start of August makes it official – it’s back to school time. This week our suggestions are for kids who are starting a new school or going to school for the first time. Attending a new school can be an exciting, yet intimidating time in a child’s life. As parents, it’s important for us to understand how our children are feeling during this time.
Our first suggestion is to sit down and have a conversation with your kids about what their thoughts are concerning the new school year. Depending on their age, they may be reluctant to talk about this. One way to get the conversation started is to share a story about when you were little. My mom still chuckles (and I cringe) when she reminds me how I focused on whether to take a notebook the first day of school. Although it’s hard for me to believe it now, I thought that if I made the wrong choice my entire school year would be a disaster. Retelling stories like that make you remember how much children worry about “events” like the first day of school – and hopefully will make your kids worry a little less.
Some other ideas to get them ready for that first day are:
- Make a list of what they are getting excited about and then share it with other family members and friends.
- Make a list of concerns and talk about them, if your kids want to.
- Take a walk or drive to the school building with a best friend’s family.
- Play on the playground at school.
- Go onto the school website and read about its history, calendar of events, the school lunch program, the school mascot, and whatever other information the website has to offer.
- Start a list of needed school supplies
If your family is new to the neighborhood, try to help your kids find some new friends. If you’re lucky maybe you can just walk outside, but if not, try visiting the library, local park, school playground, or local ice cream store. See if the community has sports teams and sign your children up.
And finally, plan an end of summer party for friends.