HKQ Kids

Avoid the Back-to-School Blues

With summer winding down, that means kids are going to be spending less time at home and more time back at school. If you remember being a kid, you can probably recall yourself that the adjustment wasn’t always an easy one. The beginning of the school year is incredibly important; your child is getting back into their routine and potentially meeting new friends and teachers. A strong start in August and September can help lay the groundwork for a successful school year. There’s always going to be a bit of nervousness and stress for the first day back, but here are some tips to help you make the transition a smooth one for your kids.

● Don’t leave back to school shopping to the last minute. It can help to involve your kids in the process of picking out any new supplies, backpacks, clothes, etc. to make the big day something to look forward to instead of something to be anxious about.

● One of the biggest hurdles for kids getting back into the rhythm of school is reworking their sleep schedules. It’s not easy going from sleeping in until noon to waking up at 7 a.m. or earlier. Try to ease your kids into waking up and going to sleep early about a week or so before school starts back up. Being well-rested for the first day can make the whole occasion less stressful. It’s important to keep an eye on your kids’ sleep all year round, as a healthy amount of sleep is one of the most important factors in a student’s success.

● Likewise, adjusting how much playtime your child has -- especially time involving screens -- can be tricky. It’s best to make homework a priority: something that has to be done before TV and games are permitted. No parent wants to feel like the bad guy, but try explaining that it’s an easier time for everyone if homework is dealt with before playtime; frame it as a reward for a job well done.

● For this same reason, having a clean, quiet space for your kids to study and do homework can greatly reduce the concern of distraction.

● One of the biggest concerns you may have had as a kid likely centered on what your new teacher was going to be like. Kids often like to know as much as they can about their environment beforehand, especially when it comes to the new school year. It depends on the school, but many offer the opportunity to visit the classroom and meet your child’s teacher ahead of time. Some teachers are totally open to emails, phone calls, or social media messaging in order to touch base. This is all extremely useful when starting at a new school, but it can still be a great comfort even if your child has been attending a school for years.

● If you can, arriving to school a little early on the first day can help give your child some extra time to get situated and comfortable with their surroundings.

● Have everything packed up and ready to go the night before, especially for the first day. Avoiding the chaos of missing supplies and unpacked lunches can go a long way in making the first day back a peaceful one. This includes having clothes picked out and ready to go.

● Have backup plans; this is something to keep in mind all year, too. If your kid normally takes the bus, have a transportation plan in the event that they miss it. Having your child keep a small amount of money for emergencies only is also a good idea. For younger children, having a backup change of clothes in their locker/cubby can come in handy.

● For older kids, keep extra-curricular and after-school activities manageable. It’s good to encourage your kids to join new clubs or play a sport, but be cautious about piling on too many activities. Remember, their health and education are priority. It’s important to make sure they still have time to do homework and study, get a healthy amount of sleep, eat proper meals, and time to relax and be a kid.

● Don’t forget to keep in touch; talk to your kids about every day at school, even when it seems like they’re back into the swing of things. Staying involved and in-tune with what’s going on at school can help you spot any problems or concerns ahead of time.

From everyone at HKQ Kids, have a great first day and a successful school year!

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