Help you kids start the new school year strong
Think back to those first few days of school as a young student. Were you full of jitters? Were you worried about whether your outfit was trendy? Were you afraid your friends wouldn’t be in your class?
No matter how much changes, these kinds of “new school year nerves” still remain a common schoolyard experience. As parents, it’s natural to worry about whether your child is adjusting to a new grade and new group. Follow these strategies and tips to help give your kids the confidence they need to start the new school year strong.
Send Lunchbox Love Notes
Lunchtime can be especially intimidating for younger or new students, since it tends to be one of the first purely social experiences in the student’s day. Kids often worry about where to sit, what to say, and how to act.
Send a note with your child to school in their lunchbox (or binder, if they get lunch at school). A simple “You’re a Rockstar!” or even a funny kid-friendly joke written on their napkin will do. These subtle reminders are a longstanding tradition that gives students peace of mind in the middle of the day. Careful, mom! Don’t be too mushy.
Prep the Night Before
Spend time in the evenings checking for homework, permission slips, and other items that your child is accountable for turning in. Make sure their backpack is ready to go in the morning before they turn in for bed. This will not only help your child rest easier, but it will give them the added assurance that they’re fully prepared to conquer the next day. Eventually, your child can take responsibility for doing these checks on their own, but it’s helpful to have the support and encouragement in the first couple of weeks back.
In addition to these “folder checks” for homework, you can also use the evening before to make for a stress-free morning with some of these easy strategies.
Students often express a sense of being overwhelmed in the first few weeks. No matter how prepared you are, your child invariably comes home with tons of forms and additional supply needs.
With this flood of information coupled with all the new social and schedule adjustments, students’ memories might give way to anxiety, making it easier to forget important details. You can help by asking your child questions like:
- Did your teacher send home any forms today?
- What didn’t you have that you feel like you need during the day?
- What’s due tomorrow? What’s due by the end of the week?
- Did you get any information about PTA/PTO? What about a contact form?
- Has your teacher mentioned the school fundraising program yet?
Being specific can help jog your child’s memory. While parents can easily check backpacks and folders, asking your student helps them develop responsibility and independence, which orients them toward long-term success.
A great start to the school year can yield much social and academic success. Empower your child to succeed, and encourage them to grow.