Alleviate back-to-school anxiety

It’s back-to-school time. But it isn’t enough to send the little ones off on the first day with a new backpack and a bouquet of freshly sharpened No. 2 pencils. We asked some South Sound-area teachers for some tips on getting back-to-school ready.

1. Establish routines.
At least a week before school starts, ease kids into the new routine. Start by setting up an alarm clock in their bedroom and setting it for the time they’ll need to get up for school. Go through all the motions for breakfast, getting dressed, brushing teeth, etc.

2. Encourage mind exercises.
In the weeks leading up to the new school year, encourage kids to sit down for an hour a day and do some educational work. Check out Pinterest for fun, age-appropriate worksheets that are free to download and print.

3. Get them involved.
Get your kids involved in the back-to-school shopping process. It will get them excited about the impending school year.

4. Talk openly.
Every night, take the time to chat with your kids about what will be happening the next day so they know what to expect. And let them voice concerns so those can be addressed.

5. Show and tell.
Just about every cartoon series has an episode dedicated to back-to-school. Likewise, head to the library and check out some books about the topic.

6. Attend open house.
Open houses or orientations can go a long way toward relieving your child’s anxiety about the new school year by removing the unknown factors. Make sure your attention is fully on the student and teacher. (Hint: You might want to leave younger siblings with a caretaker.)

7. Get to know the teacher.
Teachers encourage parents to be in touch through email, or even parent-teacher smartphone apps. ­

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is a staff writer at South Sound magazine. Email her.
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