It's Back-to-School Time!

The beginning of a new school year is a time filled with many emotions.  For some, it is filled with excitement and wonder.  For others, it means saying good bye to the lazy days of summer and the relaxed feeling of sleeping in late.  Still others, are filled with anxiety as the transition to a new school or the responsibilities of a new grade become ever so near.


As parents, we can help our children during this time by using the following strategies:

1. Keep the lines of communication open! Young children will need reassurances.  Teens and tweens oftentimes just need parents to listen.  Focus on the positives. Discuss concerns and formulate strategies together.

2. Routine!  Routine!  Routine!  Help your child get back on a "school" routine.  Start going to bed earlier and waking up earlier.  Many times, summer days run on a totally different clock than school days.

3. Get Organized!  Oftentimes, school supply lists are posted on school websites or come in the "summer mailing."  Kids want to feel like they are prepared a head of time.  Encourage your child to be part of the shopping.  Allowing kids to make decisions about how they want to organize themselves is very empowering.

4. Ward off Overload!  Early discussions with your children about their time and managing activities and school is essential.  Some children need you to set limits on how much they can do, while others need encouragement and help finding ways to be active and involved. Involve your child in planning out a set time for homework. 

5. Make time for Family!  Family time is crucial for kids to feel connected.  According to the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior, adolescents who participated in regular family meals five or more times per week reported healthier diets.  Also, meal times are a great place to "check-in" and "catch-up" on the day.