Summer will soon be over and going back to school is just around the corner. Getting ready keeps everyone busy, children and parents. Here are a few suggestions to ensure a smooth start to the school year.

  • Purchase the school supplies with your child.
  • Mark the first day of school on the calendar to help your child visualize when school starts.
  • During summer, routine is put aside. Mealtime, bedtime, habits, everything is disrupted. It is important to plan going back to a regular routine some time before going back to school (ex: 2 weeks), to help your child regain healthy habits and start school without being unduly tired.
  • Excitement and restlessness are palpable in most children when the new school year starts. For some children, not knowing who the teacher will be or which friends will be in their class, can generate anxiety. Transition to kindergarten or high school are significant steps for a child. As a parent you may try to help your child express his worries (ex : fear to get lost in the school, worried to be alone, etc.) and provide support to dedramatise his fears. It might be beneficial to discuss about previous first days of school for the child to remember how well it had gone before. Relaxation and breathing techniques can be taught to the child. « Incroyable moi maîtrise son anxiété » ou « Petit loup entre à l’école », two french books can be interesting tools to offer support to the child.
  • For children with special needs, it might be useful to plan a school and class visit. The child could meet the teacher before the first day of school. If possible, the child could also be made aware of the name of some children in his class.

Good start of the school year to all!

Martine Dugas,