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California State PTA Holistic Moms Network MOPS PALS MOMS CLUB

It’s hard to believe it’s school time again! With that in mind, I thought I would share a few back to school tips:

Tip #1: Did the important stuff get done? Did you do those “special” things you talked about doing this summer? Talk to your children and see if there is anything left that would make the summer complete for your family. There’s value in starting back to school feeling refreshed and ready!

Tip #2: Plan ahead. As school supplies are showing up in the stores, it’s a good time to start gathering the binders, folders, paper, pens, notebooks, lunch boxes and other items. It not only creates more excitement and anticipation, but it also eliminates a lot of last minute stress. You don’t want to go shopping when there’s not a lot left to choose from either. The key is doing what you can in advance so going back to school is a positive and smooth transition.

Tip #3: Be sensitive to possible anxiety. If your child is starting in a new school, they may feel nervous and have some anxiety about the unknown. All of us have gone through similar anxiety in our lives. Anticipate it and see what you can do to alleviate it in advance. Even children who are returning to the same school get nervous many times. Remember those days? Wondering who your teacher will be and who will be in your class? Sometimes as parents we take care of the practical matters, but forget the emotional ones. Take time to check in with your kids. Share stories about what it was like when you were going back to school at their age. It’s a great way to bond.

Tip #4: Leaving little ones. If you have little ones starting preschool or kindergarten this year, take the time to ease them into it. Many times we are told “just leave him, he’ll be fine.” If your child is crying and upset, I’m not a fan of that approach. Why can’t parents stay and assist in transitioning their little ones (if needed)? It provides reassurance and they don’t feel abandoned. They are still tiny. They need to know that we will be there when they need us. In their little world, this is one of those moments. Make arrangements in advance that will allow you to stick around a little, if needed. It will pay off later. There is no need to live in fear that they will never grow up if you do that. They will still grow up. You just want to be careful in how you handle the situation so you are providing reassurance and building them up, instead of coddling or causing more fear. If you need help with that, let me know. I am happy to provide a free 15-minute telephone consultation to help walk you through it. Simply call 951-240-1407 or email me to schedule.

Parenting is a journey … a long one. One of the most important aspects of that journey is the relationship that you build along the way. That relationship is created in daily life, in ordinary moments like going back to school. We have an opportunity to meet our kids where they are as they venture into a new year of learning, growth, change, maturity and questions, and walk with them to the other side of a school year. That’s amazing! Take advantage of every moment. The time really does fly by! Enjoy this new season with your child!

Traci L. Williams is the Founder of A Loving Way to Parent, an organization devoted to healthy parent-child relationships. alovingway.com / 951-240-1407 / traci@alovingway.com