Advice: Kids to Kids on Back to School

Back to School can be unnerving, with the prospects of new classmates, new teachers and a new academic year. The best advice for coping with the early jitters comes from students who’ve been there, done that. Serafina, 10, who will be going into Grade 5 in August, says, “Backpacks are too heavy. Teachers should suggest carrying two bags so the load is divided.” She also concedes that the first day can seem scary. “But don’t worry—it will get better soon. If you don’t know anyone, you’ll get to know them.”

Seven-year-old Diyana believes it’s important to make new friends in a new class. “Treat others how you would like to be treated,” she says, wisely. Her brother Devin, 11, has a similar piece of advice. “Be helpful and reach out to new friendships because some kids may be in new classes.”

It’s reassuring to know that little people are going to school with an empathetic hand and a willingness to help. Here are some other pointers for getting your kids school-ready without the heebie-jeebies:

• Get sleep schedules on track slowly and steadily. Say goodbye to late nights and binge snacking. This will train your brain and body to calm down at bedtime and make life much easier as the first day of school approaches.

• Reacquaint your kids with the schedule for school nights so that they get a practice session before the real thing.

• Have a conversation about screen time and the rules around it. Summer rules may be different from the school year rules.

• Set up play dates with a few of their school friends, and the conversations will automatically veer to the approaching school year.

• Organize school supplies, shop for what’s necessary and repurpose what’s already in the home.

• Buy/make snacks in advance so that lunches are a breeze at least for the first week of school. Get your kids involved in creating lunch menus for the first month of school.

• Don’t forget the outdoors too soon. Let them get their time to burn off energy and enjoy the last days of their summer holidays.