As summer comes to an end, parents and children alike prepare for the start of a new school year. This transition can be both exciting and overwhelming for families. However, with some effective parenting strategies, this back-to-school period can be smooth and stress-free.

Firstly, establishing a routine is crucial. Children thrive on structure, so it is important to set regular bedtimes and wake-up times.  Help your kids know what to expect by outlining homework time, fun time and family time. This will ensure that they get enough sleep, are well-rested for their daily activities and know clear expectations.

Secondly, open communication with your child’s teacher is key. Attend parent-teacher meetings or reach out via email to discuss any concerns or goals you have for your child’s academic year. Building a strong relationship with the all-school staff will help you stay informed about your child’s progress and provide necessary support. 

Furthermore, creating a designated study area at home can greatly enhance your child’s learning experience. A quiet space free from distractions will encourage focus and concentration during homework time.  This is a great time to put a cell phone down and not have gaming systems around.  My sister and I always sat at our dining room table and while an occasional game of paper football broke out, it usually did the trick!

In addition, encouraging healthy habits is vital for overall well-being. Provide at home meals and healthy snacks that fuel their bodies and minds.  Encourage physical activity by engaging in outdoor play or supporting them in extracurricular sports.  Teaching movement for fun and overall health is key!  As I’ve noted before-we have research that shows at home family dinners are linked to lower levels of obesity, depression and anxiety with higher levels of self-esteem.

Preparing for the back-to-school season requires some planning, open communication with support teams and effective parenting strategies. Parents can help with a successful jumpstart to the new academic year for their children and when in doubt-call us for help identifying and implementing a plan.

Smell those crayons.  Strut in that new backpack.  Have a great school year.