Emotionally preparing your kids for school

You want to prepare your child to go back to school physically, emotionally, and socially. But what are the key ways in doing that? Psychotherapist Dr. Erin Leonard shares a few tips:

The Physical:
Bedtimes are flexible and more relaxed in the summertime, so before school starts- make bedtimes earlier and more routine

Kids also do more snacking in the summer, so make sure they are back to a regular breakfast and lunch schedule.

Sleep and nutrition are imperative to learning, so making sure those activities are consistent and routine.

Emotional:
Each new grade brings about new privileges and new challenges. Highlight the new privileges, but listen for worries.

Developmentally, kids have different worries at different ages.

Kindergarten: Separation anxiety is common

Early grade school: Worries about their new grade being “too hard” or their teacher being “mean” are common.

Mid to late grade school: Worries about fitting in and having friends are common.

High School: Worries about successful peer relationships and being good enough are common.

Empathize w/ their worries and reassure them.

Social:
Prepare them for more sophisticated peer relationships. Talk about the importance of listening and helping friends. Encourage them to step up if a friend is being mistreated. Make sure they realize that kindness is more important than popularity.

To learn more, visit www.drerinleonard.com.