With Back to School fully underway, I wanted to discuss how you can help your child not just survive the upcoming year—but to thrive! Instead of listing my suggestions, which would be based on my own experiences as a mom, I decided to turn to my dear friend, Jill Cofsky, for her advice.
To give you a bit of background, Jill holds a Bachelor of Science in Psychology, a Master in Education, and has practical day-to-day experience as a first grade teacher. (And although I may be a bit biased, those are some lucky kids! Her dedication to her students is unwavering!) If her name sounds familiar, it is also because she narrates my book, Dani and the Haunted House.
Let’s get straight to Jill’s advice and thoughts on the subject, which I wholeheartedly support!
Create a routine
- Establish a routine with your child. A regular bedtime, homework time, and wake-up time helps to keep things consistent for your child. Children also need their sleep in order to be healthy, happy, and able to function well at school.
- Use mealtime for more than just healthy eating. Family dinnertime together at the table provides a great opportunity to discuss how your child’s day went. Listen to their daily successes and challenges. Learn about their teachers and the friends they spend time with throughout the day. Keep the lines of communication open. In the morning, try to start your child’s day off with a nutritious breakfast. Even a quick and easy yogurt and a piece of fruit will start their day off on the right foot and give them the energy they’ll need to work hard at school through the morning without a hungry tummy.
- Read with your child! I highly encourage parents to read with their child every day. Time spent reading with your child is priceless, quality, together time coupled with the countless benefits of reading. It’s a win-win situation!
- Stay positive when discussing school with your child. If you have a positive attitude about school and what your child is learning, your child will sense that. Be optimistic about the year ahead. If you talk about school with enthusiasm and a smile, your child is more likely to be enthusiastic about it!
- Don’t be a stranger. Meet your child’s teacher. Make a commitment to work together with your child’s teacher to make the upcoming year a successful one for your child. Be sure to communicate with your child’s teacher regarding any concerns you may have or if you have one of your child’s accomplishments to share. Attend after school events or volunteer in your child’s classroom. When you participate in school-related activities, it shows your child the importance you place on being an integral part of his/her educational experience.
- Love your children and let them know how much you care. Adjusting to a new school year can be challenging… new teachers, new expectations, new friends. Reassure your children that you love them, are there for them, and will help them through any difficulties that they face along the way.
These simple, but effective steps are sure to help your child more easily adjust to their new routine. Sometimes we forget that it’s not always easy being a kid. As adults, there are times we may wish we were our once care-free selves, but we tend to forget the little nuances that make being a kid tough, too. Help your child through this transitional time. Your children will thank you (someday!) and your family bonds will be all the stronger for it.
Questions? Please feel free to leave them below along with any comments.
Wishing you all the best,