Back-to-School Tips for Anxious Parents

I’m not sure when your little ones head back to school, but mine go back in 10 days from today. While my oldest son and I are both ready for him to start Kindergarten, I can’t help but get a little nervous about the whole thing. I know I shouldn’t be considering my son has went to both a 3-year old program and Pre-K, but I still have those back-to-school jitters that parents get.

You know, I keep asking myself things like, “Is he going to make new friends easy?” “Will he get along well with his teacher” and other similar questions that most of us “new to school” parents have. During one of my “worry sessions” I decided to do a little research on the topic to see what I could do to help get the school year started off right to calm my nerves. Here’s what I found:

Write a letter to the teacher. I’m glad I came across this idea because it’s one that makes a lot of sense – and it never once crossed my mind! Basically, for those of us who are concerned about how the teacher and our child will “jive,” writing the teacher a letter is actually a great thing to do. In most cases, the teachers are also apprehensive about the new class of children they’ve got coming because they have to learn all about each child and their unique quirks and personalities. Therefore, when a parent takes the time to write a letter telling about their child (likes, dislikes, etc.) then it can help the teacher establish a good connection with the child pretty easily as she will have a better idea of how to communicate with the child. This also gives the parents the opportunity to tell the teacher the information they think she needs to know about their child.

Go to open house. Most schools have an open house where they open the school up a day or two before classes begin so the students can come in and see their classroom and meet their teachers. This is something that parents need to take their kids too. While going back to school is fun, it can be stressful for kids, especially if they don’t know where their classroom is or who their teacher is. Open house doesn’t take very long (usually 30 minutes at the most) but it will make a big difference in calming your child about the first day of school. It’s also a great way for the parents to meet the teachers too.

Attend parent orientation night. Last year, when my son started Pre-K I was shocked to learn that this school has a parent orientation night – I’ve never been to a school that did this. I thought it was a good idea though and made sure both my husband and I were able to attend. Sadly, not even half of the parents showed up, but I imagine this is a common experience for teachers.

If your child’s school offers a parent orientation night for his/her class, then make sure you attend. The orientation was conducted by the teachers of the two Pre-K classes and this is when they gave out their contact information as well as an overview for how the year was going to go. They talked about homework, discipline methods and told parents what to expect throughout the year. It was very informative and put the parents’ minds at ease too. I’m excited that the Kindergarten teachers are also having a parent orientation night as it’s a great opportunity for me to ask any questions that I may have and get to know the teacher a little better.

By Andrea K. Clark

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