Parents in Action: Transitioning into a new grade

The back-to-school season is a time filled with excitement and inspiration for a new year that's sure to be full of new tales and friendships.

It can also be a time when kids are apprehensive or nervous about what's to come, especially those who will be entering a new school environment like elementary, middle or high school.

Here are a few things to help ease your kids into the first day of school.

Elementary School

Little ones heading from day care or pre-k into kindergarten will see anticipation, excitement and maybe anxiety as the big day approaches. To help ease the nerves, take them to visit the school so they can see their classroom, meet their teacher and maybe even try out the playground.

You can also make them a part of the back-to-school shopping experience.

Middle School

Making the change into middle school is daunting. No doubt about it. Your child will most certainly face a larger school campus, different teachers for every subject and a larger homework load. Helping your tween develop their organizational skills will help tremendously. Creating an overall plan for the day, week and year with a calendar will help your pre-teen thrive in these pivotal years.

Your middle school student will certainly face puberty in middle school as well. As a parent, you'll probably feel helpless when trying to help your child deal with the social and physical issues. Always be available to talk with them and offer compassion and support, reassuring them that their peers are facing the same issues.

High School

Whether we like it or not, the moment your kids enter the halls of high school, they are bordering on young adulthood.  But before they even start ninth grade, sit down with your teen and make sure they understand exactly what you expect from them. Also establish consequences if those expectations are not met.

High school students are more apt to taking risks they wouldn't normally. Although it may seem that your child doesn't want your guidance they will secretly expect and need it. Make sure that your child understands no topic is off limits for discussion, from sex to drugs you will never judge them. You will also help your child thrive in high school by staying involved through meetings, events, school functions and communicating with teachers frequently.

Remind your high schooler the going to college is a privilege and not a right. They will need to work hard in high school to get into a good college.

Being accessible to your children to talk will ease their transitions into any grade.

Don't forget that you were a child once and dealt with similar issues.

Be open and guide your kids to a productive and exciting new school year.


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