The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Health & Family

August 9, 2012

Positivity the key to preparing kids for return to school

JOPLIN, Mo. — Getting kids back into their school year routine can be difficult. At least a week before school begins, parents need to start helping kids transition out of their summertime schedule.

“Don’t wait until Aug. 14 to change,” said Renee White, the project manager for mental health support for the Joplin School District.

White offers a list of recommendations to help parents prepare for getting their kids back into the school routine.


Get the conversation started

Tone is key when beginning the back-to-school conversation. Parents should have an “excitable, friendly and exuberant” approach with their children, White said.

One way parents can do this is to talk to their kids about their friends. This can help get kids excited to go back and find out what classes they may share with their friends, she said.

Back-to-school conversation isn’t just necessary for kids, though. White recommends parents talk with each other to maintain consistency and positivity. When buying school supplies and clothes, for example, White said, “We know it’s expensive and groan, but don’t do that in front of the kids.”

Make a daily schedule

Some parents may think scheduling is silly, White said. But having a daily schedule on the fridge is a useful tool. White recommends making a column for each child and rows for different times of day. This way parents and kids can visualize together how the morning routine will take place.

“As silly as that may seem, it’s really helpful,” White said. “Especially if there’s multiple people in the home.”

A daily schedule is particularly helpful for young kids Ñ it will help them manage their time effectively in the morning, allowing them to figure out when to wake up, get dressed and be ready for the bus.

And to add some fun, White recommends decorating the schedules with pictures.

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