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Setting Appropriate Expectations for Children Transitioning into a New School Year


Tips from Teachers

Insights and Ideas from Smart Love teachers and tutors on how to help your children have a successful school year!

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Allow Time for Adjustment: Understand that the transition period can take several weeks for children and they may not be able to pick up where they left off from the prior school year. At the beginning they may feel really tired, try not to overschedule them and give them space to adapt and process the transition. Try to avoid placing unnecessary pressure on them to adjust quickly, and allow space at home to get used to the many changes like new teachers, classmates, and routines.


Provide More Support, Not Less: Recognize that during the transition into a new school year, children may require additional support and patience. Parents can aid in the transition by making yourself more available in a caring and understanding manner and listen to any concerns or anxieties that they may or may not share. Parents can aid in establishing a routine by sitting next to them as they do their homework, waking up earlier in the morning to ensure they are available to meet their child's needs, offering an after-school snack when they come home, etc.


Offer Choices: Help your child feel in control of their experiences by providing opportunities for them to make choices. This can include allowing them to select their school supplies, extracurricular activities, deciding on their study schedule, dinners, tv shows, etc. Empowering them in this way can boost their confidence and sense of ownership.


Emphasize Emotional Well-being: While academic success is important, it's crucial to prioritize your child's emotional well-being during the initial weeks of the new school year. Encourage open communication about their feelings in a non-pressured manner and validate their feelings. If they do not open up, do not push it, simply letting them know that you are available if they want to talk is enough to let them know you care. If they do open up and share about their challenges, empathize with their experience and validate their feelings. You can let them know that mistakes and setbacks can feel hard and are part of the learning process.


Utilize Your Parent-Child Relationship: Engage your relationship with your child as a source of support for them. Activities that allow for conversation like walking the dog, baking cookies, taking a walk around the park help to strengthen your connection. Encourage regular conversations about whatever it is on their minds - friends, YouTube videos, video games, teachers - and actively listen to their experiences, and provide a safe space for them to express all of their feelings - both happy and unhappy. Your understanding and empathy will help them cope with their emotions throughout their school days effectively.


Celebrate Achievements & Encourage a Growth Mindset: Acknowledge and celebrate your child's accomplishments, no matter how small. Emphasize their efforts and progress, but avoid focusing on end results like grades.


Avoid comparing children: Every child is unique, and their transition into a new school year will vary. Tailor your approach to suit their individual needs, and be flexible in adapting your expectations accordingly.

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