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6 Ways to Smooth the Back-to-School Transition

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We all know it’s here - backpacks and lunch boxes have been dug out of storage and the scent of freshly sharpened pencils is filling the air! But, as nearly all of us can testify, after summer break, the back-to-school transition can be tough. We have six ideas for making it easier!

Anticipate and Address Children’s Anxiety

Going back to school is stressful for kids of all ages, so try to head off stressors before they’re encountered. Talk with your child about new experiences they can expect and traditions that you’ll continue. When possible, try to “practice” navigating possible new experiences in a playful and creative, role-playing way. 

Manage Your Anxiety

Little pictures have big ears, and they often mirror our emotions and actions. Work to maintain a positive attitude about summer ending. If you’re nervous about school starting, then your kiddos likely will be more nervous about school, too. Try to plan some fun, transitional activities for kids - like special Labor Day weekend fun.

Ease Back Into Scheduled Days

When kids are used to playing until dark each night, the shift to early morning school rush can be a shock to the system. To soften the blow, start bedtime routines about 10 minutes earlier each night and wake them up rough 10 minutes earlier each morning.

Stay Connected to Nature

Back to school doesn’t mean saying goodbye to outdoor fun! For as long as the weather allows, make a habit of getting outside together after the school day ends.

Get Back to Healthy Eating

If your family is a bit like many of ours, some of the rules regarding snack inventory bend a little during the summer. Fall’s arrival is a great time to teach kids that family-focused healthy eating can be fun, too. Try simple swaps — like yogurt for ice cream — and be prepared with healthy snacks and meals as things start to get hectic. Breakfast, after school snacks and before-dinner munchies conquered!

Seek Out One-on-One Time Every Day

We know that this one is daunting — especially when you’re operating the family taxi service — but challenge yourself to set aside just 15 minutes per day, per child. Whether it’s reading a few extra books to your toddler, making up stories with your preschooler or stargazing with your oldest after the littles have gone to bed, your children will savor having your undivided attention! 


LEARN MORE:

PBS Parents Back-to-School Tips