Back to School Tips for Kids

Aug 15, 2007

Going back to school is always filled with lots of emotions for children. Some can’t wait and others dread it. Each child is different, so structuring your back to school planning should recognize the specific needs of each child.

First, remember that each child is experiencing change in some manner, and change is difficult for many children. Whether it is a kindergartener going to school for the first time, a child transitioning between elementary, middle or high school, or just a new teacher and new classroom, making the transition easier by being prepared can alleviate stress and worry for parents and children.

Changes and transitions are great ways to help children learn and grow. You can maximize the opportunity by making sure the child feels safe and secure, and knows what to expect. The more a child is prepared, the less anxious and stressed he or she will feel in the moment.

Here are some tips for a successful first day back at school.

  1. Be enthusiastic about the upcoming change. If you are excited and confident, your child will be too.
  2. Prepare yourself. Take note of how your child reacts to separation. If possible, visit the new setting with your child. Introduce your child to the new teacher or early childhood professional in advance.
  3. Arrange a playdate with another child from the school, preferably one-on-one, so that your child will see a familiar face when she walks in.
  4. Start daily routines that will add to continuity. Let your child become involved with packing lunch or laying out clothes. Also, begin an earlier bedtime several weeks before.
  5. Put aside extra time, particularly on the first day, for chatting and commuting together. But remember not to prolong the good-bye. If the child whines or clings, staying will only make it harder.
  6. Always say good-bye to your child. Be firm, but friendly about separating. Never ridicule a child for crying. Instead, make supportive statements like, “It’s hard to say good-bye” or “You must be wondering what it will be like when I leave”.
  7. At the end of the work day, put aside special time to discuss the day and allow the child to voice opinions and concerns. Encourage the child about their successful first day.

Most children love trying new things and experiencing new challenges. The more prepared, ready and excited they are, the more likely they are to have a great day back at school.

(Some information taken from:

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