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The start of each new school year brings with it a variety of emotions for parents and students alike. With excitement and anticipation often come questions and concerns. These guidelines should prove helpful to get both you and your children off to a great start this September.
Talk it up: Young children can be especially anxious to begin a new year. Many new faces, expectations, procedures, and routines await them. Surely this can be intimidating for even the bravest little ones. Be sure to talk openly with your child about what their concerns might be and let them know that you have felt that way in many situations yourself. To begin the conversation, try showing them pictures of yourself on your first day of school when you were their age. Assure them that you and their teachers will be there to gently guide them through the upcoming days.
Shop…but Don't Drop: When purchasing school supplies, it is best to adhere exactly to the lists that teachers create for you. Resist the urge to allow your child to talk you into buying that pen that doubles as a secret decoder ring or the notebook that comes complete with 52 smelly stickers and a hideaway mirror! Stick to the list! Your child will soon forget about the novelty items and start school feeling prepared and confident when they arrive with the required ones.
Practice a Pattern: Routines are important, even for the youngest of students. Every family and every individual have different needs when it comes to daily happenings. Learn your child's needs. Learn your own, as well. Identify those things that continually cause them to slip and then create a pattern to correct them. Provide checklists for children to follow that itemize their responsibilities for what should occur upon arrival home each day, when getting ready for bed, when waking in the morning, etc. Enforce the routines until they become healthy habits. Small habits done daily yield big results!
Face off: When the big day comes, be sure to take the time to accompany your child to school. If possible, allow them time to re-connect with friends a day or two before the classroom visit day. That will make the visit day more about meeting the teacher and settling into their new environment rather than catching up with friends. Be sure to introduce yourselves to the teacher. They are excited to meet you and your child, and they are just as full of anticipation for a successful and positive new year as you are!