How do we transition back to school and find a way to support our children in this transition? It is often an abrupt schedule change for both children and parents.

As the end of August approaches, many families are asking how to best support themselves and their children in this anticipated change.

Here are some helpful hints when it comes to supporting and understanding our children, their needs and how to create a smooth transition.

First, you and your child should identify the stresses of going back to school. Look at what concerns they might have, what they are excited about, what they aren’t excited about and discuss things openly. The best thing that we can offer our children is the opportunity to share and be heard.

Second, listen carefully to your child’s concerns without distraction. Be present as they share so that you can bring empathy, compassion, and support to them in a way that serves them and acknowledges how they are feeling. Ask your child how you can best help them.

Next, begin to alter your family’s routines, including bedtime and wake time. Little by little try to get the schedule geared up to support the transition back to school. The more that our children have time to transition their bodies and minds to the start of school, the more they will be ready when they begin. The change will be less drastic and abrupt if we ease into it. This type of preparation is less shocking to our children’s biological clock.

Moreover, try to plan ahead as much as you possibly can with routines, needs, and preparation. If you can empower your children to be part of the discussion about morning, afternoon and evening routines, they will be more likely to participate in the success of it all.

Getting out the door in the morning is not always easy. Children often have brilliant ideas about ways to make this less stressful. Empower them to share their own ideas.  In addition, evening routines can be tough as well with activities and homework. Ask your kids what works best for them in terms of the structure of the evening. Some kids need a break after school and before homework, while others can dive right in. Engaging with your kids to learn what serves them best will help both you and them.

Lastly, be a bit more compassionate as you get closer to the start of a new school year, knowing for many kids this can be a very tough and stressful transition. Ask them what they need from you.

Sending love and good wishes for a wonderful year ahead!

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