1. Back up bedtimes starting 5-7 days before the first day of school so that an early start is not a rude awakening on the first day. Backing bedtime up 15 min a day works best and consider waking them up earlier as well. Kids and teens do best with 10 hours of sleep a night.
2. If your child is starting at a new school, visit before the first day so they are familiar with the layout, where the bathrooms are and where their classroom is. You can also read books about the first day of school to younger children. Here’s a list: https://www.scholastic.com/.../top-11-books-to-ease-back... Knowing what to expect will greatly reduce their anxiety and yours!
3. Lay out the first day of school clothes the night before so that there are no issues in the morning. This is a great nightly practice to adopt.
4. If they ride the bus, do a practice run going to the stop and remind them of the bus rules so they are ready. If they are car riders, make sure you know the drop-off procedure and pick-up rules. Go over them with your child so both of you are ready.
5. Plan ahead how you will say goodbye so that both you and your child get what you need on the first day. For younger or anxious ones, you may want to consider giving them a “transitional object,” or something from home that they can keep with them to help them feel secure. Consider a special necklace, picture of the family or small stuffed animal that can stay in their backpack.
6. Expect that the first 2 weeks of school will be exhausting for all of you! Often by day 3 kids struggle with the idea of going all week long and returning the next week. It’s normal and natural. Give them extra love, patience and earlier bedtimes than usual if needed. They will adjust!