Back-to-school season is often met with intense emotions by both the parents and the kids. Excitement over buying new school supplies and finding out classroom assignments… And maybe anxiety (or relief!) about having your kids away from home all day! If your child has a learning disability or behavior issues, you might be especially concerned about getting the school year off to a good start. Here are some suggestions:
- Communicate Early and Often. Don’t wait for a problem to arise before you contact your child’s teacher or counselor. Build a relationship with the school right away so you (and they) will know who to contact if there is a concern. If you are worried about your child, be upfront. Partner with the school staff to come up with a proactive plan to help your child succeed this year.
- Prepare, Prepare, Prepare. Talk with your child about new experiences. You might even need to visit the school or other new places several times to help them adjust to their new environment.
- Adjust Your Rope. Many parents that i work with struggle to find the balance between letting their child experience academic freedom and micromanaging their child’s education. They wonder “Should I check my child’s grades and homework every day? Or should I let them have some freedom and experience a natural consequence of failing a class?” The answer depends on your child’s age and maturity. In the book “Smart Money Smart Kids,” Dave and Rachel Ramsey use the metaphor of the parent holding onto the end of a rope that is tied around the child’s waist. When a child is young, of course, the parent would hold tightly to the rope and stand close by. As the child grows up and matures, however, the parent should be able to lengthen the rope until they are finally able to let go as the young adult becomes independent.
This could be your child’s best school year yet! Congratulations to students, teachers, and parents on the start of a new year!