DF Archive

Depression Forums Back-To-School Pointers For Parents

Depression Forums Back-To-School Pointers For Parents

August 23, 2009

 

 
Getting a new school year off to a good start can positively influence a student’s attitude, confidence and performance both academically and socially.
 
The transition from “vacation” to school days can be difficult for both students and parents. Even students who are eager to return to class must adjust to greater levels of activity, structure, academics and for some, additional social pressures associated with school life. The degree of adjustment will differ with each student, but parents can help their children, and the rest of the family, manage the increased pace of life and responsibilities by planning ahead, being realistic, and maintaining a positive attitude. Below are a few suggestions to help ease the transition and promote a successful school experience.   

Depression Forums Back-To-School Pointers For Parents

 

 
August 23, 2009 – Getting a new school year off to a good start can positively influence a student’s attitude, confidence and performance both academically and socially.
 
The transition from “vacation” to school days can be difficult for both students and parents. Even students who are eager to return to class must adjust to greater levels of activity, structure, academics and for some, additional social pressures associated with school life. The degree of adjustment will differ with each student, but parents can help their children, and the rest of the family, manage the increased pace of life and responsibilities by planning ahead, being realistic, and maintaining a positive attitude. Below are a few suggestions to help ease the transition and promote a successful school experience.
 
Before School Starts
 
Good physical and mental health: Be sure your student is in good physical and mental health. Schedule your student’s pre-school doctor and dental checkups early, so that they are not forgotten. Discuss any concerns you have over your student’s emotional or psychological development with the doctor. The doctor can help determine if your concerns are normal, age appropriate or need further assessment. Your student will benefit if you can identify and begin addressing a potential problem as soon as it is recognized. This enables the student to perform to maximum potential at school
 
Review all the information: Review the material sent by the school as soon as it arrives. These packets of information include important information about your student’s teacher(s), room assignments, school supply requirements, sign-ups for after-school sports and activities, school calendar dates, bus transportation, health and emergency forms as well as volunteer opportunities. Please make sure the school always has accurate phone numbers to contact you in an emergency.
 
Mark your calendar: Make a note of important dates, especially back-to-school nights or conference weeks. Arrange for a babysitter now, if needed, and clear up obligations so you can attend the school functions.
 
Re-establish the bedtime and mealtime routines: Plan to re-establish the bedtime and mealtime routines (especially breakfast) at least 1 week before school starts. Prepare your student for this change by talking about the benefits of school routines in their terms of not becoming over -tired or overwhelmed by school work and activities.
 
Include pre-bedtime reading and household chores in your schedule if these were suspended during the summer. Designate and clear a space to do homework: Older children should have the option of studying in their room or in a quiet area of the house. Younger children usually need an area set aside in the family room or kitchen to facilitate adult monitoring, supervision and encouragement. Designate a specific time period each day to complete homework.
 
Visit school with your child: If your student is young or going to a new school, consider visiting the school with your child before the beginning of classes. If possible, arrange to meet your student’s new teacher(s), locate the classroom(s), locker areas and lunchroom. These actions will help ease pre-school anxieties and also allow your child to ask questions about the new school environment. Call the school ahead of your visit, to set up any necessary appointments with your student’s school or staff
 
Minimize clothes shopping woes: Buy only the essentials. Check with your school to confirm dress code guidelines before you purchase any new clothing items. Common dress codes exclude extremely short skirts and shorts, low rise pants, bare midriffs, spaghetti strap or halter tops, exposed undergarments and any clothing that have violent or antisocial messages. Have at least one pair of sturdy shoes that protect the entire foot.
 
The First Week
 
Plan your breakfast menu and make lunches the night before: Each night before school plan with your student what options they have for breakfast. Choosing breakfast foods that are rich in whole grains, fiber and protein while low in added sugar boosts your child’s attention span, concentration, and memory which they need to learn in school. Older children should help or make their own school lunch the night before. Give them the option to buy lunch in school if they prefer and finances allow.
 
Set alarm clocks: Have school aged children set their own alarm clocks to get up in the morning. Praise them for prompt response to morning schedules and bus pickups. Leave plenty of extra morning time: make sure your student has plenty of time to get up, shower (if needed), get dressed, eat breakfast and get to school. For younger children, consider setting out their school outfit before bedtime. The first couple of weeks your student may need even more time than “usual” because of the increased responsibilities.
 
Review your student’s schoolbooks: Talk about what your child will be learning during the year. Share your enthusiasm for the subjects and your confidence in your student’s ability to master the content. Reinforce the natural progression of the learning process that occurs over the school year. Learning skills take time and repetition. Encourage your student to be patient, attentive and positive.
 
After School: Review with your student what they are to do once they arrive at home, and be very specific. For younger children, make sure they know what to do if he or she gets home after school and you are not there. Put a note card in their backpack with the name(s) and number(s) of a neighbor as well as a number where you can be reached.
 
Overcoming Anxiety: Let your student know you care: If your child is anxious about school, send personal notes in the lunch box or backpack. Reinforce the ability to cope by modeling optimism and confidence for your child. Let your student know that it is natural to be a little nervous anytime you start something new but that your student will be just fine once he or she becomes familiar with classmates, the teacher and school routine.
 
Try not to over-react: If the first few days are a little rough, try not to over-react. Younger children in particular may experience separation anxiety or shyness initially but teachers are trained to help them adjust. When you depart from your student try not to linger while you reassure them that you love them, will think of them during the day, and will see them after school.
 Reviewed by Lindsay 9-01-2010

Leave a Reply