Back To School

The days are getting shorter, the state fair is about to start, and back to school ads are popping up on television.  Before we know it, September will arrive with the first day of school.  In the few weeks before Labor Day, excitement as well as anxiety can begin to emerge for children and even adults.  Will I like my teacher?  Will I have friends? Will my student do well academically?  Am I going to get calls home this year for behavior?  It can be beneficial for families to use these last fleeting summer days to prepare for a successful and positive school year. Here are some simple tips! back to school

1.       Start Your Routine Early!  School starts early for most children, definitely earlier than those summer mornings.  Be sure to have your child go to bed early and wake at a reasonable hour at minimum a week before the first day of school.  The readjustment to routine can be difficult if you are enforcing an early bed time only the night before school.  Creating a visual calendar can also help your child prepare for the early mornings and busy days before they arrive. back to school
2.       Get Connected!  It is important to start a dialogue with school staff early and maintain it throughout the year to be aware of challenges as well as successes.  Email or call your student’s new teacher.  Connect with the school social worker if you anticipate needing more support during the school year.  Be sure to go with your child to the school open house to see familiar faces, learn about the upcoming school year and get any questions answered for your child to feel prepared for the first day.  School staff love to connect with parents throughout the year. back to school

3.       Make the New Year Fun!  My mother always spent a day in the last week of summer to take us children school shopping and then out to lunch.  My father then had a ritual of taking pictures of us on the first day in front of our house.  With these routines, I saw the first day of school as an exciting adventure full of new possibilities.  Some simple ideas could include making a special meal before the big day, watching a back to school movie or writing a letter to your future self that sets goals for the year. back to school

4.      Seek Support Early! If your student appears to be significantly anxious about the new year or you anticipate the transition to be difficult, be sure to access support as soon as possible.  If you would like to know how therapy could be helpful during the school year be sure to contact us at Wild Tree Psychotherapy.  back to school

Happy New School Year! Make it the best one yet!

Written by Elizabeth Hamburger, MS, LMFT