Parents can help children prepare for new school year

Returning to school can be an anxious time for some students as they get ready to meet new friends, get acquainted with a new teacher, new routines and possibly a new school.

The Durham District School Board has shared some tips – courtesy of the Psychology Foundation of Canada – that can help ease the transition heading into a new school year.

– Start preparing your kids for school in advance. For example, practice the route to school, and get them back into a school-time sleeping schedule.

– Prepare a “Must Know” list for the school and teacher. The list will provide important information for the school staff, such as allergies, illnesses, physical limitations, or any necessary accommodations that might need to be made.

– Watch for possible signs of stress, such as altered sleep, headaches and/or stomach pains, a lack of appetite (or eating more than usual), anxiety, or poor concentration – both before school starts and for several weeks after schools begins.

– Don’t forget to ask your kids if they have any worries about the new school year, then follow up on their concerns, provide information, reassurance and problem-solving help, as needed.

– Be careful not to overload your child with too many activities outside of school. Sometimes the best cure for stress is just to have some quiet time.

– Monitor and manage your own stress level so that it does not create more anxiety for them and so they can pick up some good stress management techniques from you too!

– Finally, be positive about school with your children and help them feel it’s a good experience.

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