Back-to-School: Start Getting Ready Now

“Mom, I HATE school!”

Some kids love school, some kids hate it. Many boys say that RECESS is their favorite class. The trend for boys is that school is even more “hated” than it used to be. In 1980, 14% of boys said they didn’t like school. In 2001 – 24% of boys said they didn’t like school.

How is your boy feeling about school?

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He may be excited/anxious or feeling real anxiety, fear, and dread.

Tips and Strategies to Make Back-to-School Easier

!. Introduce your child to their teacher(s) and tour the school before it starts. Even if the school is familiar, be sure to stop by and look around again, so your child gets reacquainted. Be sure to point out where the bathrooms are, too.

2. Get to know - and support - your child’s teacher. One mom brings her child’s teacher a prepared meal occasionally - or one she can put in the freezer. A cup of coffee brought at random can make a teacher’s day!

3. Share a little about your child with his teacher. Many teachers like to start with a clean slate, getting to know each child individually. However, it can be helpful if teacher knows outstanding circumstances, so share - but not too much!

4. Create routines & agreements before school starts. Talk about when your child likes to do homework. Does she like to chill when she gets home? Or get school work over with?

5. Talk about before & after school expectations. What needs to be done before child leaves for school? What needs to be done after school? How much screen time fits into this conversation, too. Are they packing their own lunches? (I hope so!)

6. Know whether your child likes to talk about their school day - and when. Asking too many questions can be a complete turn-off. Be ready to listen when they are ready to share.

7. SLEEP!  Start now, gradually getting bedtimes on schedule. Begin by going to bed 10 minutes earlier - and waking them up 10 minutes earlier. Don’t wait until the week school starts to implement this shift.

8. Consider UNDER-SCHEDULING your child in the fall, so they can adjust to new school and social expectations. Kids (and adults) need down-time. Having unstructured time allows kids to process what they’re learning and day-dream.

For more boy-friendly resources:

Go to Boys Alive! and opt-in for the free guide: “3 Simple Tips to Connect with Your Boy”

Listen & subscribe to the podcast: ON BOYS: Real Talk About Parenting, Teaching, and Reaching Tomorrow’s Men A back-to school episode is here.

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