Now that most children are back to school, are you ready for packing lunches, driving carpool and dashing from after-school activities to the dinner table? The National Association of School Psychologists offers a few pointers for the busy days ahead.
- Pack lunches the night before. This will reduce rushing in the morning when everyone is trying to get out the door. Older children can make their own lunch, and younger children can help with the preparation of their lunch. If children purchase lunch at school, make sure lunch money is laid out and ready for the following morning.
- Be sure the alarm is set. Older children can set their own alarm clock. Set expectations for younger children so they know what time they are expected to get up.
- Arrange a play date. If your child is nervous about a new classroom or school, arrange a series of play dates over the first month of school. This will help your child get to know their classmates, and will also help you get to know other parents.
- Volunteer in the classroom. If scheduling allows, volunteer in your child’s classroom a few times throughout the year. This will help you get to know your child’s teacher and classmates, and help you understand your child’s routine and the environment in which they spend a significant portion of their day.
- Limit extracurricular activities. While it is natural to want your child to participate in every extracurricular activity they enjoy, limit activities to one or two at a time and those that are fun, encourage socialization and allow new skills to be introduced. See if you can share carpooling with a neighbor or classmate, allowing you a little time to relax or prepare dinner. Consider non-sports activities like monthly reading clubs, arts groups, or language classes for expanded interests and opportunities.
- Ask for help. If your child is not adjusting to their new classroom or responsibilities as well as you expected, ask for an appointment with their teacher, school guidance counselor or school psychologist. These professionals may be able to offer guidance or help to guide your child to a happier school year.
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