10 tips for parents to help children manage school transitions
Going back to school from a long summer off can be difficult for some children. Jennifer I. Durham, Psy.D., an associate professor and Psy.D. program coordinator at Adelphi University's Gordon F. Derner School of Psychology has some tips to help your children make that transition.
1. Teachers usually report a few days before their students - take your child to school to see their classroom and informally meet the teacher.
2. New situations bring with them some anxiety - discuss things that might be making your child nervous and normalize the feelings.
3. When your child shares what is making them nervous, help them identify ways to manage their feelings.
4. The new school year usually means changes in leisure time, either less of it or more structure such as team practices - have a discussion about these changes and gradually set time limits on video games and other leisure activities.
5. Summer activities usually don't call for concentrating for longs periods of time on challenging material - gradually introduce activities that require your child to focus on projects for 20 minutes for elementary students and an hour for middle and high school students.
6. Have a clear discussion about what your expectations are about study habits and have your child practice them.
7. Children and teens need to be well rested to maximize learning - begin moving your child from summer sleeping habits to those appropriate for school.
8. Similarly - begin moving your child from summer eating habits to habits that reflect school and activity schedules.
9. New school years are wonderful opportunities to start fresh - discuss things your child may want to do differently this year and help them identify ways to be successful.
10. Growth and maturity happen over the summer - help your student reflect on ways they may have matured or changed, and how this may impact their social relationships with peers.