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Back to school can be a time of excitement as well as stress. Here are a few ways to start this new year off right.

Wrap up the summer – Have your child help plan one final barbeque or picnic with friends and family. Share favorite summer activities you did together.

Look ahead – Talk about positive things to look forward to such as learning about something new, or taking part in a school activity. Encourage your child to problem solve any concerns.

Provide order and stability – The idea of a new school experience can bring anxiety of the unknown. Setting a schedule for your child can establish a sense of control; set a time for homework, bedtime, chores and activities.

Get a good start – Prepare clothes and books the night before to reduce morning time stress. Eating before leaving for school – even if only a banana or yogurt – helps with learning.

Open the lines of communication – Listen to your child and offer encouragement. Being active in their school experience lets your child and their teacher know that you care.

Interested in more parenting tips?

The free annual Helping Kids Thrive conference held in October provides hands-on practical tools, skills, and information to help children grow in positive ways.

Visit www.hktjcmh.org for more information.