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  • Writer's pictureJennifer Perez, LMFT

How to Transition Kids Back to School Successfully


Time seems to be moving at the speed of light this summer and it's almost time to get school supplies and new uniforms ready. Some of us will opt to take the denial route, procrastinating on all the inevitable preparations until the very last minute. But I’m here to offer an alternative plan. Finding pockets of time to help set your family up for a smooth transition does not have to be rocket science.


Here are a few strategies that can make the back to school transition easier.


1. Create a countdown calendar:


Display a calendar to mark off the days until school starts, helping kids visualize the upcoming event. This allows everyone to get into the mindset of school being on the horizon and can help to manage expectations along the way.


Bonus: Print a themed calendar tailored to your child's interest. Think sports, spiderman, barbie, bluey, roblox, flowers, unicorns, etc. Get them involved and make it a fun activity!


2. Check-ins during dinner time or car rides:


Use these moments to discuss your family's routine, including pick-up/drop-off schedules, extracurricular activities, and expectations for sleep and wake times. This can help your children know what to expect with the changing schedules and can make it easier to adjust to those changes.


3. Establish nighttime and morning routines:


Plan and practice consistent routines to set your family up for success, ensuring everyone gets enough sleep and starts the day smoothly. Take time to prepare for school the evening before so there’s no last minute scrambling the morning of. Make sure the backpacks are packed and lunches are prepped the night before. Give everyone enough time to get dressed for school and have breakfast (if possible) to fuel up before heading out for the day.


4. Discuss anticipated challenges:


Talk openly with your kids about potential challenges they may face during the school year, such as homework or social situations with friends. Offer guidance and reassurance as situations arise. Encourage them to talk with you about how things are going at school and with their friends.


5. Address previous year's challenges:


Reflect on any difficulties experienced in the previous school year and brainstorm strategies together to overcome them this time around. Use this as an opportunity to review what they learned and how they grew the previous year. Highlight positive changes that you’ve noticed with their growth over the past year to boost their confidence in handling any potential challenges they may face this year.


6. Focus on the positives:


Ask your children what they are looking forward to about going back to school. This can help build excitement and anticipation for the new year. Try to amplify things they enjoyed in previous years too.


7. Identify sources of help:


Encourage your kids to reach out for assistance if they encounter any challenges. Discuss trusted adults, teachers, guidance counselors, or friends they can turn to for support.


Remember, each child is unique, so tailor these ideas to fit your family's specific needs and preferences. Need additional support during the back to school transition or anything else you may be struggling with when it comes to parenting your child?


I invite you to contact me for your complimentary consultation at 954-391-5305. I would be happy to speak with you about how I can help! Good luck with a successful transition back to school!


I provide counseling for children, teens, parents, and families at our beautiful Fort Lauderdale office. I also offer online therapy for those who reside in the state of Florida through our secure telehealth platform.


For more information about my approach or services, click here.


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