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Back at School Success

09/19/2016 10:06AM ● Published by Jennifer Gonzalez

By Ashlee Garrison 

You’re already back at school. Wow. Maybe you are still feeling excitement, curiosity and even a little anxiety. Don’t worry. It’s normal. Of course, as everyone goes back to school, it’s great for children to see their friends, meet their teachers and acquire new clothes. After summer is over, parents are ready to be embrace a structured routine and look forward to helping their children work towards goals as they approach new grades. The anxiety of the unknown can be eased through careful planning, preparation and communication. Here are some simple suggestions for making being back at school easy as apple pie.  

Re-establish Routines 

First things first. Routines are essential. It’s also helpful to talk with your children about organization. Many families have great organizational structures set in place. By talking to your children about the expectations for their organization and setting up a specific place for a calendar and paperwork, your stress levels can be significantly lessened. It’s difficult to transition back-to-school after the summer, but your excitement and positive attitude about school and getting back into the swing of things will likely influence their feelings about it, and will make for a much happier experience.   

Nurturing a Positive Back-at-School Attitude  

We all get it; we have all been kids who really never want summer to end, but the reality is that school has started, ready or not. Thinking about the long days of relaxing and playing in the sun coming to an end can sometimes be a bummer (...even for teachers! After all, who doesn’t love sleeping in and going to the pool?), however, there are some positive things just around the corner and exciting opportunities for growth, learning and friendship. As a parent, it is your role to help foster this positive attitude, and help your children become excited about the fresh start of a new school year.  

Spend some quality time with your children. Take them to the movies, the library or to the park. Enjoy time building up their self-esteem, especially as a new school year starts. School can be particularly nerve-racking for kids when they are in middle school or starting to attend a different school. Keep this in mind as you have conversations with them regarding this new beginning. Talk to them about pros and cons of the previous year and set goals and expectations for the upcoming grade level. 

Foster a Growth Mindset 

By speaking to your children about goals and expectations, regardless of their ability levels, you are fostering a “growth mindset,” which essentially focuses on individuals working their hardest and doing their best to continue growth and progress rather than focusing on a narrow “pass or fail” way of thinking. Talk to them about the things that went well the previous year, as well as those things that could have been improved (within their control). There may have been outside factors that were pros and cons, but when considering goals for your children, it is important to focus on the aspects that they can control and can work on to make a difference. Not only does this help set them up for success in the classroom, but it also helps them build reflection and self-awareness skills that will continue to become more important as they move through the grades. Communicating with your children provides the emotional support they need, and there are also some logistical pieces of the new school year that are equally as important and will require preparation.  

Prepare, Prepare, Prepare 

Logistical preparations are of utmost importance when it comes to your children’s safety and success at school. Make the decisions on transportation, before and after-school care, who your emergency contacts will be etc. and communicate them with your child. So, as the school year begins, remember that there are great opportunities just around the corner, and that by re-establishing routines, nurturing a positive attitude about going back to school, encouraging a “growth mindset” and being mindfully prepared, your children will be well on their way to an exciting and successful school year!

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