It is very normal for both children and their parents/guardians to feel some stress with the start of the new school year. Our School Based Coordinators have put together some tips to help ease the transition back into the school year and give your child every opportunity to be successful.
- Now is the time to help your child/teen regulate their sleep times! It is a good idea to have them start going to bed 15 minutes earlier for a few days, then another 15 minutes earlier for a few days, and continue this pattern until your child is closer to a school night bedtime. Regulate screen time and try to have your children be screen-free for at least an hour before bed.
- Normalize that back-to-school time can bring up a range of emotions for kids, especially if they are transitioning to a new school like middle or high school. Some children will feel super excited to see their friends and teachers again, while others may feel some excitement but will feel mostly anxious. Going back to school can feel overwhelming for kids as they change the structure and routine of their summer lives.
- Start planning for after-school care and transportation. School family liaisons will have a list of resources to help, and you can also call Jefferson Center’s Navigation Services department at 303-432-5130 for additional resources.
- Attend back-to-school nights to establish a connection with the school community. Don’t be afraid to ask questions there! It is also helpful to read all of the communication they send out so you are aware of what is happening within the school community and any changes that might be occurring.
- Amp your kiddo up for kindergarten! Find books from the library about what kindergarten is like, and use these to give your child a better idea of what their new routine/structure at school will be like. Make it exciting!
- Do daily check-ins with your child or children after school or in the evenings about their day (highs and lows; rose, thorn, and the bud of the day, etc.)
If your child or children continue to show signs of struggling with anxiety after the school year has started, it may be a good idea to speak to school staff and learn about what kind of resources are offered for you and your child. Many Jefferson County schools have school-based clinicians onsite that can provide ongoing support!