Tips For A Smooth Back-To-School Transition
Posted on July 20, 2016 (Updated August 02, 2017)
Transitioning from Summer to Back-To-School
Summer activities like vacations, camps, swimming and just staying up later to enjoy the long days of summer can affect your family’s schedules, sleep, nutrition and daily routines.
With school just around the corner, it is perhaps time for you to help prepare your child, grandchild or young relative for school whether they are heading off to preschool or Kindergarten for the first time or taking the big step to go away for college or graduate school.
9 Tips to Help Prepare for Back To School
- Establish routine and regular bedtime. Sleep is essential to childhood growth and health and is necessary for all of us.
- Prepare for the life change with family discussion around the dinner table, visiting the school or college and preparing lists for back-to-school needs. Discussions of “brought or bought lunches,” school supplies, and school clothes are common family discussions. Some states have a window of time where sales tax is suspended for back to school shopping, so plan accordingly!
- Review summer reading lists and summer homework assignments as many students from elementary through college have summer academic assignments.
- Schedule appointments with your pediatrician to make sure the sports physical and immunizations are all up to date. Children going off to college need the meningitis vaccine and both females and males should be vaccinated against HPV.
- After summer trips to the ice cream parlor and the ballpark, it may be time to make a renewed commitment to sound nutrition emphasizing the Mediterranean diet.
- If your child or grandchild seems anxious about the upcoming change, talk with your physician and look for resources in the library and community to help ease the transition. There are many good books for children of all ages about starting a new school year or going away to school.
- If your loved one is going away to boarding school, college, or geographically away for the first time to study abroad, you will need to plan for more preparation both physically and mentally as well as perhaps for global realities. Talking to your soon-to-be adult child about issues relating to family values, behavior, safety, and communicating your expectations especially regarding subjects like money, drugs and alcohol use, sexuality, and risky behavior activities of those around them is important. Letting them know your expectations and keeping an open path of communication is very important.
- If your child or grandchild has ADD or any learning disability now may be the time to meet in advance with school counselors to plan for your child’s needs.
- Just like with any new phase in life, be it a birthday, a birth of a baby, a marriage, be sure to celebrate and plan for the beginning of each new school year!
Be Strong. Be Healthy. Be in Charge!
Holly L. Thacker MD
Holly L. Thacker, MD, FACP is nationally known for her leadership in women’s health. She is the founder of the Cleveland Clinic Women’s Health Fellowship and is currently the Professor and Director of the Center for Specialized Women’s Health at Cleveland Clinic and Lerner College of Medicine at Case Western Reserve University. Dr. Thacker is also the Executive Director of Speaking of Women’s Health and the author of The Cleveland Clinic Guide to Menopause. Her special interests and areas of research including menopause and related medical problems including osteoporosis, hormone therapy, breast cancer risk assessment, menstrual disorders, female sexual dysfunction and interdisciplinary women’s health.
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