Back to School-A Parent’s Survival Guide
Living in New England we become accustomed to the ever-changing weather. Every year at this time we experience that first morning when we feel the crisp chill in the air and we see the first hint of oranges and reds in the leaves. Such changes parallel the family experiences that unfold at this time of year, as our children head back to school. While many parents and children view this period with anticipation, others may have more anxiety and have a more difficult time with the transition. Getting kids up in the morning and ready for school, starting homework, participating in sports and afterschool activities, and forming new relationships with teachers and classmates can trigger stress and anxiety for children and their parents alike.
Given this important time of year, we are offering some practical tips and resources to help ease the transition back to school and make this period as successful and stress-free as possible for both parents and children. We have compiled a great list of articles focusing on such issues as communicating with your children, homework strategies, social struggles, grade expectations, ways to motivate your child to learn, and the best sports and technology for kids with ADHD.
Communication with Your Child Regarding School
Dr. Marty Nemko offers some helpful and realistic ways of communicating with your child in order to find out how they are doing in school, help them solve problems, and help them to have a strong school year. He offers specific questions to ask your child about their day instead of the old standby, “What did you do at school today?”
Here are some great tips for parents to help ease their children’s adjustment to school and help build ways of coping with transitions that will last a life-time.
Facilitating Peer Relationships
Wonderful, insightful strategies to help your child or teen with peer relations and creating meaningful friendships.
Academic Expectations by Grade
The following articles provide a grade by grade guide of what will be expected of students starting in Kindergarten and going through Middle School. Topics include academic as well as social- emotional milestones and how to support school success for your child at each grade level.
The following articles offer great advice on how to make your child “feel happy about doing homework!” Making lists, study buddies, and listening to classical music are just a few of the great homework tips offered.
Strategies for Children with ADHD
These articles touch on some school struggles that are more specific to children with ADHD such as organization, time-management, and structure. There are also some great ideas for activities that promote health, self-esteem, and teamwork that play well with certain ADHD traits.
Strategies for Managing Back to School Anxiety
It is not surprising given all the changes and expectations of starting a new school year that many children and their parents experience some anxiety. The following articles discuss ways for parents to cope with their feelings as well as the anxiety their children may be experiencing. “Work together with your child to develop a plan that will help them be successful,” highlights Michael Lee Zwiers, Assistant Professor of Psychology at the University of Calgary.
At the Portsmouth Neuropsychology Center our staff is available to meet with you or your children if they are experiencing more chronic or intense feelings regarding the return to school transition period. Whether it be helping develop better coping strategies to manage stress, learn organizational skills, or identify the underlying reason for an academic challenge, we are here to support you and maximize your child’s academic and social-emotional success.