NDSU Extension Service - Ramsey County


| Share

Back-to-School - For Parents

Back-to-School – For Parents


          Kids aren’t the only one who experience butterflies at the start of another school year.  “Is my child ready for school?; Did I make the right decisions about after schoolchild care?; Will our family find a workable routine?” are some of the many emotions parents can feel as school begins again. 

          Getting a new school year off to a good start can influence children’s attitude, confidence, and performance both socially and academically. The transition from summer to schedules can be difficult for both children and parents. Even children who are eager to return to class must adjust to the greater levels of activity, structure, and, for some, pressures associated with school life.

          Before school starts be sure your child is in good physical and mental health. Discuss any concerns you have over your child’s emotional or psychological development with your pediatrician. Your doctor can help determine if your concerns are normal, age-appropriate issues or require further assessment. Your child will benefit if you can identify and begin addressing a potential issue before school starts. Schools appreciate the efforts of parents to remedy problems as soon as they are recognized.

          Review all of the material provided by the school as soon as it is available.  Those packets include important information about your child’s teacher, room number, school supply requirements, registration for after-school sports and activities, school calendar dates, bus transportation, health and emergency forms, and volunteer opportunities. 

          Mark your calendar with important dates, such as back-to-school nights. This is especially important if you have children in more than one school and need to juggle obligations. Arrange for a babysitter now, if necessary.

          Buy school supplies early but you might want to hold off on clothes shopping.  Fill the backpacks a week or two before school starts with supplies listed in the registration packet.  Especially for pre-teens and up, consider buying only the essentials for clothing.  What is and isn’t the “cool” thing to wear can change quickly and cause new clothing requests from your student.   But be sure to have at least one pair of comfortable shoes.

          Send the TV, video games and computer back to school early. Turn off electronics and substitute board games, puzzles, flash cards, crossword puzzles or word games instead. This will help ease your child into the learning process and school routine. If possible, maintain this practice throughout the school year. Television is distracting for many children, and your child will arrive at school better prepared to learn each morning if he or she has engaged in less passive activities.

          Freeze a few easy dinners. It will be much easier on you if you have dinner prepared so that meal preparation will not add to household tensions during the first week of school.

          Let your child know you care. If your child is anxious about school, send personal notes in the lunch box or book bag. Reinforce their ability to cope. Children absorb their parent’s anxiety, so model optimism and confidence for your child. Let your child know that it is natural to be a little nervous anytime you start something new but that your child will be just fine once he or she becomes familiar with classmates, the teacher, and school routine.


Creative Commons License
Feel free to use and share this content, but please do so under the conditions of our Creative Commons license and our Rules for Use. Thanks.