The new school year is nearly here and many parents and children find this time stressful – kids not wanting to go back to school, new uniform expenses and trying to get children back into a normal school routine. The new school year means new friends, teachers, clothes, and classrooms. It’s normal for kids (and their parents) to feel anxious about transitioning from holiday-mode to school mode. The good news is there’s a lot you can do to ease minds and help your kids get ready for a new school year.

My daughter was diagnosed with Dyslexia when she was in her teens.  When she began a school year with a new teacher, I would set up a meeting with the teacher to let them know about my daughter’s disability. In those days – my daughter is in her late thirties now, Dyslexia was a disability that wasn’t widely understood by all teachers. I discussed how she would be treated in the classroom, such as not being made to stand up in front of the class to read anything out. Also I let the teacher know that I would be helping her with her homework, by discussing and rewriting projects and assignments, so that the teacher could understand what she had written. I made sure the teacher also understood she would be doing all the creative thinking, writing and researching.       

So, when it’s back to school time, no matter how old your kids are, these three tips hopefully will make the process just a little bit easier for you.

Talk about first-week JITTERS: Some styles love change and new beginnings, and some don’t. If your Kiddo is somewhat introverted, reassure them that being nervous is natural – even some teachers can feel nervous on their first day back in the classroom. Support them to cope with these feelings by:

  • Letting them express their fears, by just listening. Perhaps you can offer stories of your own first-day jitters when you were a child. 
  • Teaching them to breathe deeply and slowly to calm their nerves. Also invite them to call on their Trust Virtue – by having a positive expectation that all will be well. 
  • Discussing the scenarios that worry them. For example, if they’re worried about who to sit with or talk to on the first day, help them plan a strategy and rehearse it so they’ll know what to do. This tip always worked for me.

CELEBRATE the start of a new school year: Now this tip might not work for everyone, as I know life is busy. Why not celebrate the first day of school, as your kids just might see back-to-school as something they can enjoy. Try a back-to-school party the day before school starts, complete with their favorite snacks, party balloons and educational gifts. Or if you are a busy parent, take a picture on the front step in their first-day-of-school clothing or uniform. 

Start preparing early and get organized: Some of us like to be organized early and are prepared for anything, and let’s be honest, some styles aren’t. From experience though the earlier you can get organized the less stressed you’ll be. Make a list of what your child needs for school and start shopping early. This will help reduce stress levels as the deadline approaches.  Help your children get organized before the school year starts by making sure they have everything they need for their homework. I’m the list guru because they work! So make a list of what you need to buy and when you need to have it done by. For those of you that like these tips you might like to grab my book called “You’re a Family, Now What? This is a complete guide for raising happy kids that can tackle anything: You’re a Family Now What?