It’s finally the end of August, which means its back-to-school time! Starting a new school year can be an exciting time, but it can also be filled with anxiety for both parents and kids. Luckily, we put together a list of tips to make transitioning from the summer to school easier!
Create a healthy bedtime routine
Establish a “school friendly” bedtime and wake-up routine before school begins. If your child has been going to bed late or sleeping in during the summer, setting a healthy sleep and wake-up schedule will help ease them into busy school days. Kids will be less tired throughout the day and parents will be less stressed getting them up and out of bed in the mornings. To help your child adjust, gradually change their bedtime at least two weeks before school starts. Also, try removing electronics such as cell phones and tablets to keep background noises at bay as well as limit staring at screens that emit blue light, which has been shown to keep the brain alert.
Make a family calendar
Keeping track of everyone’s schedule can be difficult, so we recommend creating a family calendar everyone can access. Use the calendar to list everything from appointments to practices and events. A central calendar will keep everyone in sync, which helps avoid confusions or missed dates.
Most kids have a full schedule during the school year which includes homework, sports, clubs, events, and friends. We suggest having a discussion with your children in order to set priorities for the school year. For example, when should homework be completed? Immediately after school or after dinner? Also, will there be television time? If so, how much? If your child wants a friend over, discuss which days are best and how long their hang-out should last. Establishing a basis will help keep them on track.
Easing into the school year doesn’t have to be difficult. With some patience and planning, your family can transition to a successful school year!
Dijana Perlleshi, LCSW
Supervisor, School-based Mental Health Clinics
Reach her here