Friday, August 5, 2011

Preparing for the New School Year

It's that time of year again. Parents are rushing to sales to get their children equipped with crayons, glue, pencils, and notebook paper. Kids get to try on new school shoes. Trips to the store are made for new lunchboxes and backpacks.

It's wonderful that millions of parents are doing what they can, often with limited budgets, to prepare their children for school. But more important than physical readiness is psychological preparation.

Mental planning is important for both children and parents. Remember what this time of year was like when you were a child. Try to identify your fears and concerns. You may be additionally anxious if your youngster will be attending a new school.

How can you lower your trepidation? Talk to parents of children in the school and find out what helped their little ones transition to a new building. Remember that millions of children move to new schools without any problems, and that many anticipated problems never materialize.

Do not race down to the school demanding to meet with your child's teacher. First of all, most teachers are not on duty yet, and they deserve to finish their vacations in peace. Secondly, schedules for junior high and high schools are generally not set until a couple of days before school begins, so no one on campus has any idea which faculty members will teach your child. Have faith in your little learner that he or she can handle age-appropriate school activities.

Take some time with your child to discuss the upcoming year. Find out what he or she is anticipating or dreading. Your discussion can include goals and ways to make 2011-2012 better than 2010-2011. This will help reduce fears.

If you're still worried, just keep chanting, "It's going to be OK. It's going to be OK."