Tips for Parents and Children Starting a New School Year

As summer comes to an end, parents are preparing their children to start a new school year. This can be especially daunting for parents of children starting kindergarten or elementary school. Here are some tips for both parents and children to make the transition as smooth as possible.

A while ago I wrote about 10 Steps to Dealing with School Drop-Off Anxiety, but here are some updated tips.

Addressing Parents’ Concerns

It’s natural for parents to worry about their children’s transition to a new school. Here are some common concerns and ways to address them:


Make sure you know the school’s safety procedures and emergency plans. Talk to your child about what to do in various situations, such as if there is a fire drill or if they feel unsafe. We have an Apple AirTag in my daughter’s backpack, or on her wrist for field trips.

Academic Performance

Talk to your child’s teacher about what to expect in terms of homework and academic expectations. Set up a designated homework space and establish a routine for completing homework.


Encourage your child to participate in extracurricular activities and playdates with classmates. Attend school events to meet other parents and get involved in the school community. As a Dad, I’ve found talking to other parents at the school park after school while my daughter played, hugely beneficial.

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Helping Nervous Children

Starting a new school can be stressful for children. Here are some tips to help ease their nerves:

Talk it Out

Encourage your child to share their concerns with you. Listen actively and empathize with their feelings.

Establish a Routine

Children thrive on routines, so establish a consistent schedule for waking up, getting ready, and going to bed.

Practice Positive Self-Talk

Help your child identify and challenge negative thoughts. Encourage them to focus on their strengths and accomplishments.

Encourage Friendships

Arrange playdates with classmates before school starts or invite classmates over after school. Encourage your child to introduce themselves to new students and make new friends. Even hanging out for a while longer to play at the school park has helped our daughter to meet new friends and form relationships outside of the classroom.

Recognizing Changes in Mental Health

Starting a new school can also be a trigger for mental health concerns, such as anxiety or depression. Here are some signs to watch out for:

Changes in Appetite

Look for changes in your child’s eating habits, such as a loss of appetite or overeating.

Changes in Sleep

Pay attention to changes in your child’s sleep patterns, such as difficulty falling asleep or sleeping too much.

Changes in Behavior

Watch for changes in your child’s behavior, such as increased irritability, crying, or withdrawing from friends and family.

If you notice any of these signs, talk to your child’s teacher or a mental health professional for guidance.

Starting a new school can be overwhelming for both parents and children, but with the right support and mindset, it can also be an exciting new adventure. By addressing parents’ concerns, helping nervous children, and recognizing changes in mental health, parents can ensure that their children have a successful and enjoyable school year.

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Awww. We were both so young!

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