Getting your Child Ready for School

By Katherine Ryan on August 13, 2014

back to school medium

I know… People aren’t ready to think about getting ready to go back to school just yet. Some of us are still waiting for summer to begin! Each fall in my practice in Topsfield, MA I see an increase in new clients, specifically teens & children because transitions are HARD.

Some of these kids are having difficulty adjusting to the change of returning to school and/or perhaps a new school. Others may have more complicated challenges. All can be helped by the following tips on getting ready to get ready for school.

1 Sleep schedules. If you’re children are like most children they are probably going to bed later and getting up later than they do in the school year. And, if you are like most parents you are okay with it. NOW is the time to start getting your kids back on a school year sleep schedule. To do this most successfully adjust their sleep in 30 minute increments per week. For example, if they have been going to bed at midnight and waking up at 11:00 AM, you would want them to go to bed at 11:30 PM and wake at 10:30 AM for the first week. During the second week bedtime should be at 11:00 and wake-up time at 10:00. Adjusting their sleep cycle in this way will reduce the difficulty they may have in making the adjustment and possibly the grumpiness that usually goes along with these kinds of changes.

2 Prepare to Prepare. Review with your child what needs to be done & purchased. Allow your child as much decision making as possible. If your child is learning to budget his or her own money, set a budget with them for clothes and supplies and let them make decisions on what to spend money on (& live with the consequences).

3 Back to School Shopping. Again, allow your child as much control as is reasonable given their maturity level. You may want to negotiate when and where to shop. Let him/her/them pick out items within your limits and with your guidance.

4 Ask Open Ended Questions. When school begins try asking “Tell me about school.” Instead of “How was school?” Open ended questions are great in many other situations as well.

I hope you found these tips helpful in getting ready to go back-to-school. If you would like additional help in adjusting to the school year call a local mental health professional and of course you can always call Harmony Counseling in Topsfield MA, 978-561-1927 to arrange an appointment.


239 Boston Street, Topsfield, MA 01983