Why July Is The Best Time To Prep Kids For Back-To-School

Eight practical ways to reduce your child's anxiety and make the transition smoother.

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As much as we hate to admit it, back-to-school season is just around the corner, marking the end of those long, lazy summer days.

You might find yourself dreading the return of the school routine, where you have to play the drill sergeant again— waking the kids up, packing lunches, managing carpool schedules, and chauffeuring them to endless activities.

Or maybe you're eagerly anticipating the structure and rhythm that comes with the academic year.


Regardless of where you stand, preparing for the start of school can make a big difference in easing the transition. Preparing early can help reduce stress and take pressure off not just you, but also your child. 

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Here are some tips to help you and your child get "back-to-school-ready" early this year:

1. Start conversations early.

Success in any event lies in the preparation, and the start of school is no exception. Initiate conversations with your child about the upcoming school year. Discuss the timing, leaving for school, and what to expect in the new year. Starting early can help ease their anxiety and prevent last-minute stress.

2. Focus on the positive.

Talk about the positive aspects of school and encourage your child to do the same. Discuss subjects or activities they enjoy, positive experiences they had with teachers or friends, and the sense of accomplishment they felt when completing projects.

3. Rehearse school days.

Make a fun game out of rehearsing the school day routine. Do a dry run of the process of leaving for school, sing songs in the car, and laugh at any missteps. This rehearsal can help create a positive mindset about going back to school, which is particularly helpful for children prone to worries and anxieties.

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4. Reflect on last year.

Allow your child to reflect on their successes and challenges from the previous year. Encourage self-reflection rather than providing your observations. Setting an example of self-reflection can help them take ownership over their growth.

5. Set goals together.

Discuss your own goals for the school year, such as staying calm in the mornings, and encourage your child to set their own goals. Help them create actionable steps to achieve those goals, whether it's organizing schoolwork or managing deadlines.

6. Plan family ‘relax days.

The school year can be hectic with endless activities and events. Plan regular family ‘relax days’ where phones and computers are turned off, and you do something fun together as a family. Take a hike, play board games, or simply enjoy a meal together.

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7. Check your approach.

Kids often follow their parents' lead. If you're feeling frazzled and disorganized, they might struggle with school too. Find a system that helps you stay organized and cut back on activities if needed. Set an example of positive attitude and emotional presence.

8. Address mental health.

For families dealing with mental health challenges like anxiety or depression, early engagement in school conversations is even more crucial. Seek support from professionals who specialize in working with children and teens to help manage school-related challenges and anxiety.

The start of school can be a stressful time, but with preparation and open communication, the transition can be smooth for both parents and children. Remember, you're setting the tone for the new academic year, so staying positive and supportive goes a long way in helping your child thrive.


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Monica Ramunda, owner of Rocky Mountain Counseling Services, specializes in working with children and teens, addressing school challenges and anxiety.