By Katherine Ryan on August 5, 2016

I know… People aren’t ready to think about getting ready to go back to school just yet. Some of us feel as though each summer goes by quicker than the last! Each fall my counseling practice in Topsfield, MA sees 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 the upcoming school year.
1 Sleep schedules. If you are like most kids you are probably going to bed later and getting up later than you were in the school year. And, if you are like most parents you were okay with it. NOW is the time to start getting back on a school year schedule. To do this most successfully adjust your sleep in 30 minute increments per week. For example, if you have been going to bed at midnight and waking up at 11:00 AM. You would go to bed at 11:30 PM and wake at 10:30 AM for the first week. During the second week go to bed at 11:00 and wake at 10:00. Adjusting your sleep cycle in this way will reduce the difficulty you 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 me @ Harmony Counseling in Topsfield MA, 978-561-1927 to arrange an appointment.
~Katherine Ryan is a LMHC (Licensed Mental Health Counselor) practicing in Topsfield, Massachusetts where she enjoys helping adults, children and teens become unstuck offering psychotherapy (counseling) and family mediation services including divorce mediation.


239 Boston Street, Topsfield, MA 01983