5 Back-To-School Tips To Help Kids Make A Smooth Transition

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Returning to a school routine following summer break can be tough for kids. This year, the transition could be more challenging than ever.

Help your child change gears with more grace and fewer tears using these five ideas for a smoother return to the classroom.

  1. Make re-connections. Following current safety recommendations, help your child spend time with a classmate or two via video chat or at a local park. The school's playground is an ideal setting! If possible, attend any back-to-school events or schedule a virtual get-to-know-you meeting with your child’s new teacher.
  2. Express confidence. Remind your child of past accomplishments like riding a bike or making new friends. Let your child know you believe they are ready for what’s next, and that you’ll cheer them and support them on every step of the way.
  3. Be a safe place to share fear. We can’t always predict how a child perceives a new situation or what will trigger fear or insecurity. “When a child opens up about a concern, our first instinct can be to offer reassurance, but that’s not always what a child needs,” says psychiatrist Andrew New, M.D. “Let your child know you take them seriously. Provide encouragement and comfort, but first, validate their feelings and offer empathy.”
  4. Rehearse a morning routine. Pack a backpack. Choose what’s for breakfast. Make a to-do chart—make bed, brush teeth, get dressed. Take a walk to the bus stop. Don't forget the best way to have a good morning routine: a consistent nighttime routine. If bedtimes have gotten relaxed over the summer, it's time to start enforcing a regular bedtime again to help your child prepare mentally and physically for their day. 
  5. Create a special way to say goodbye. Having your own special way to say farewell for the day can bring comfort to your child (and you). Maybe before you go, you give your child’s hand three quick squeezes (for “I love you”). Or you could give each other a thumbs up, a high five, a count to 1-2-3 hug, or an affirming message like “You got this!”

While you’re expressing confidence in your child, remind yourself of all you’ve tackled in the past year. Move forward together knowing you and your child have what it takes to make this new school year a success.


To find a doctor at Henry Ford, visit henryford.com or call 1-800-436-7936.

As the school year gets busy, learn how to conveniently connect with your child's Henry Ford provider from any location, visit henryford.com/virtualcare. 

Dr. Andrew New is a psychiatrist and sees patients at Henry Ford Allegiance Outpatient Behavioral Health in Jackson.

Categories: ParentWell