Going Back to School Advice from Dr. Sharon Press

Going Back to School Advice from Dr. Sharon Press


The start of school can be stressful for children, mothers, and fathers. There are concerns about new teachers and new schools. Children worry about challenging academic schedules, and concerns about peer relationships and social pressures. As a parent, there are things you can do to make the transition to school easier for you and your children.  

-Notice your own anxiety level and manage it. Maintain a positive attitude about summer ending and school starting. Make a fun plan for the few days before school starts. Use time with your children to discuss the best part of the summer and the positive things your child can look forward to in the new school year. Make preparing for the new school year a positive bonding experience between you and your child.

-Anticipate and address your child’s possible anxiety. Talk with your child about upcoming new experiences, develop new traditions for the start of school, and let your child know that it is normal to be worried about the start of school. Assure your child that you know he or she can handle the upcoming school year.

-If your child is starting at a new school building make sure your child has had a tour of the building before the first day of school.

-Transition into a more structured schedule in the few days before school starts. Change the bedroom routine and start having your children go to bed a little earlier each day and have your children get up a little earlier each day to prepare for the first day of school.

– Decide on a routine with your child for the morning so everyone is ready to leave for school on time. Develop a plan for after school time and getting homework completed. Identify a quiet place for getting homework done. Make sure it has good lighting and ample space for pens, pencils, and other supplies needed for homework. Study space should not be in the middle of family space that gets noisy and chaotic.

– Plan activities for after school and weekends so your child has exciting, fun, family time to look forward to when school starts.

– Get back to healthy eating. Plan healthy snacks and lunches with your child for the upcoming school year. Take your child shopping and let them help you identify and buy the healthy lunch and snack ingredients.

-The night before school make sure your child knows what will be happening the next day. Make sure your beginning middle schoolers and high school freshman know where to go the first day of school and know where their homeroom class is located.

-Assure your child that you know the first day will be OK and you will be looking forward to hearing about the first day.

These few healthy steps can make the transition to the upcoming school year less stressful for everyone.

Learn more about Dr. Press on her website, www.drsharonpress.com or call her for an appointment at 203 – 221 – 0355. Her office is located at 260 Riverside Avenue, Westport, CT 06880.

ICYMI – Introducing Dr. Sharon H. Press, Child and Adolescent Psychologist