Just in time for back-to-school, here are a list of my top ten Dos and Don’ts of getting your child(ren) ready to go back to school (or for their very first school year).
1. Make sure the school nurse and teachers are aware of any medical conditions or allergies your child may have
2. Start transitioning your child from summer to school schedule before the first week of school
3. Set a homework schedule
4. Put a cap on the number of after school activities
5. Set a bedtime/curfew (especially for school nights)
6. Get help if your child needs it (if they’re struggling in a subject, make sure they can get extra help or stay after school and work with an older student tutor)
7. Help your child manage their time with long-term assignments
8. Have a “dry run” (whether your child is walking to school or bussing it, do a run through of the routine and bring them into the building, walking them around so they get the feel of it)
9. Talk about making friends and also that old friendships can change
10. Make a list of clothes and supplies your child needs, so that you don’t buy more than is necessary
1. Wait until your child’s parent-teacher conference to see how they’re doing/adjusting
2. Set unrealistic expectations for grades, friends, etc
3. Micromanage your child as they do their homework
4. Allow your child to wear a backpack that is entirely too heavy for them (a rolling bag might be a better option)
5. Make returning back to school overwhelming if your child seems anxious or nervous. Keep it matter-of-fact
6. Rush in the morning. Set a routine and stick to it
7. Show your your child if you’re anxious about them going back to school
8. Don’t do everything for them (let them be independent in picking out clothes, getting ready, etc)
9. Don’t be afraid if your child experiences a set back in the classroom, on the field, or in their friendships
10. Forget about downtime. At the end of the night, on the weekend. Make sure your child has time to relax and refuel.
Happy back-to-school and good luck, parents and caretakers!