Back to School Tips with Dr. Jane

Shrink Candy psychologist, Dr. Jane, shared some simple tips for parents getting their kids ready for their first day of school. Dr. Jane chatted with WJXT’s Casey Black during The Morning Show.

No surprises!

Surprises are usually fun and great, but what we don’t always realize is that surprises are stressful. And so, multiple surprises can make for a very tough and draining experience – definitely not the way you want to start off the first day of school. So, to approach the entire process of helping your child prepare for school, stick to the “No surprises rule”- or at least, try for as few surprises as possible!

No surprises to their system:

You’ll want to find out what time your kids needs to wake up, eat their meals, and what time they’ll be served snack during the school year. Start adjusting their schedule so that once that first day of school hits, their internal clocks are ready to wake up, they’re ready to eat when they need to, and ready to tackle their day. We want it to be a smooth transition from your home to the school’s schedule.

No surprises about their surroundings:

Let your child have some time to get used to whatever is new– the new school, the new teacher, the new classroom. Some schools have specific orientation days, others allow tours. As much as is allowed, you’ll want your child to know where he’s going, where his classroom is, who’s his teacher, and even where the bathroom is. Make the trip multiple times if you can.

No surprises about their day:

Talk to your kids about what their schedule might be like. Some children will stay in one class the whole day, others will switch classrooms throughout the day. And while you’re talking with them, it’s a good opportunity to go through their backpack with them and help them organize all the new school supplies they’ve gathered throughout the summer. They’ll feel that much more prepared knowing they have everything they’ll need once that first day comes around.

Be positive and excited!

A positive attitude is so important in developing how your child will interact with their surroundings- and school is no exception. A study in the Journal of Education Psychology linked parents’ beliefs about their children’s math and science skills with how competent the children felt in those subjects later in life. So, as much as you can, encourage your children in all subjects and in all activities. If you’re excited about all the great subjects they’ll learn and about the friends that they’ll meet, your children will embrace the process and they’ll be excited too!

Instill confidence

Finally, it’s totally normal for your child to feel a little nervous those first few weeks even with all the preparation you’ve done together. Let them know it’s okay that they’re nervous. Just remember to encourage them with what you say, but also…a great tip is to leave them a short note in their bag or in their lunch so that even if they’re doubting themselves, they’ll be reminded that you believe in them. Just that one little note can boost their confidence even without you there!

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