It’s hard to believe we’re already gearing up for a new school year. I’m sure a lot of parents are busy helping their children prepare for the transition back to school, where kids will face new classmates, new teachers and new experiences.
Sometimes it’s easy to focus on the typical back-to-school checklist of school supplies, annual physicals and more. But it’s also important to think about the emotional part of heading back to school. Strengthening your child’s self-confidence will help reassure them that everything will be ok no matter what new challenge or experience they face.
There are several ways you can help ease the transition of back-to-school, and sometimes a small gesture to let your kids know you’re thinking about them goes a long way to building their confidence. Here are a few simple tips:
1. Approach the fresh start with a positive attitude.
As you tackle your back-to-school to-do list, be sure to include a conversation with your children to share positive thoughts and motivation to inspire a good attitude for the upcoming year. Kids take emotional cues from their parents, so set a positive example.
2. Make a list of goals.
As you approach your children’s first day, ask them what they hope to achieve this year at school, whether it’s with their favorite class, sport or extracurricular activity. Come up with an action plan to help them attain their goal and further build their confidence.
3. Surprise them with a thoughtful gesture.
Surprise your younger children by packing their favorite snack along with a note or photo that will make them laugh. Seeing something familiar on a day filled with new things will help brighten their day.
4. Send an inspirational message.
For older kids, sending a positive text message such as, “Everything is possible, look for your opportunities!” or “Thinking about you – make it a great day!” can help bring a smile and inspiration to their day.
5. Invite conversation.
Don’t be offended if it takes your teens time to open up about their experiences at school – it’s natural for kids their age to want to sort things out internally before sharing with their parents. Talk about your day as a way to encourage dialogue, and give them space to engage when they’re ready, especially on the first day.
For more thoughts on how to connect with your children, visit the Resources section to download our Parent Guide.
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