The adjustment back to school can be a little hectic for children and parents but starting school off right can
increase positive attitudes, confidence, and academic performance. Parents can help support the new adjustments
by setting a realistic schedule, decreasing procrastination, and providing a positive outlook. Here are a few tips to
make it a successful school year.
1. Good physical health. Schedule any doctor, dental, vision appointments before school starts to make sure
your child is healthy. This allows you to take care of any concerns before it becomes a stressor.
2. Be involved. Review all paperwork that is sent home, read the e-mails that are sent, and communicate
with your child on any confusion. Have weekly communication with your child’s teachers. Learn the online
grading systems that the school offers.
3. Mark the calendar. Whether it is your calendar, family calendar or your child’s, make sure everyone is
aware of important due dates, when try-outs are happening, parent/teacher conferences, or fundraiser
nights. Preparing for those events now rather than later decreases anxiety.
4. Routine. Having a set evening routine can help your child stay productive and sleep better. Choose outfits
and make lunches the night before to minimize stress in the mornings. Life does happen, especially with
more than 1 child, so freeze a couple dinners for busy nights.
5. Turn the screens off. Turning off the TV, iPad, iPod, DS, etc. 30 minutes before bed is helpful for
everyone’s sleep. This is also important in the morning too before they head off for school.
6. Everything in its place. Having a designated homework spot creates a productive/focus atmosphere. This
place should not be the bed or couch. Keep those places as the relaxing spots. Select a spot for backpacks
and lunch boxes. This helps keep the family system working smooth. This can minimize the craziness on
mornings when you are running late.
7. Talk. Children want to talk about their day too. Don’t be quick to jump to negatives. Support their
strengths and work together to improve areas that are needed. Have everyone in the family share their
highs and lows of their day at the dinner table.
8. Get them involved. Being involved in clubs, sports, or other school activities can increase our sense of
belongingness. Extra activities help with social skills, sportsmanship, and communication skills. Find the
balance so over scheduling doesn’t happen.
– Caitlin Goicoechea, LCPC, NCC
Mental Health Counselor at Children’s Therapy Place