Preparing Children for the 2023-24 School Year
Thursday, August 10, 2023
With the new school year close at hand, NewBridge Services has advice for parents to help ease their children’s transition from lazy summer days to the bustle of fall. As families head to out to buy school supplies and new outfits, it’s important to make sure students are emotionally prepared too.
Tips for Parents of Elementary School-Age Children:
- Begin implementing school-year routines a few weeks in advance. Set consistent bedtimes, wake-up times, and meal schedules.
- Invite your child to share their feelings and concerns about returning to school. Listen attentively and validate their emotions, offering reassurance and support.
- If your child is attending a school for the first time, arrange to have them tour it before the first day.
- Encourage your child to engage in expressive play as a way to process their feelings and build resilience.
- Teach your child simple relaxation techniques such as focusing on their breath to calm them when they feel anxious.
Tips for Parents of Preteens and Teenagers:
- Encourage open conversations and validate your adolescent’s feelings, acknowledging their emotions without judgment.
- Work with your preteen/teenager to set achievable academic and personal goals for the upcoming year. Help them break down big objectives into smaller tasks.
- Foster independence by allowing and encouraging your teen to take on responsibilities, make decisions, and learn from their mistakes.
- Talk with your child about the importance of self-care and mental well-being, encouraging them to exercise regularly, sleep eight to 10 hours a night, and participate in activities they enjoy.
- Promote healthy friendships, which helps support good mental health.
By offering support, establishing routines, and encouraging open communication, parents can empower their children to face the new school year with confidence and resilience.
NewBridge offers in-school programs on resiliency building, and runs a virtual weekly support group for teens ages 13 to 17, addressing adolescent life issues such as emotion management, coping skills, social issues. The support group has rolling enrollment. Call NewBridge at (973) 316-9333 for more information.