Kids get anxious about starting school or going back to school at any age. Here are a few ideas on things you can do to ease their minds to help them get ready for a new school year.

Early to bed, early to rise

Start by getting back into your routine school sleep schedule, this is will obvious not be easy and will not happen overnight! A few weeks before school opens, get your kids into the habit of going to bed earlier.  Gentle winding-down activities before bed are a great way to help your child relax.

Re-establish a routine

Routines are key, especially with children. Map out a routine of what they are expected to do and at what time – then go through it with them. At the end of every day your routine could be something like; playtime, doing homework, dinner, brushing their teeth, and reading before bed.

Encourage independence

When children are actively involved in back to school preparations – such as choosing and organizing school supplies and uniforms – are more likely to get excited about going back to school, which in turn eases their anxiety. Daily, age-appropriate tasks are a great way to help your child gain independence and confidence.

Choose the right backpack

Backpacks that are too heavy or worn improperly could result in muscle strain, headaches, and neck pain. Try to choose a backpack made of sturdy, lightweight fabric with wide, padded straps that will support your child’s shoulders. Watch that they don’t sling it over just one shoulder.

Limit screen time

Back to school is the perfect time to re-establish screen time limits. Try and get the whole family to “unplug” at the end of every day before bedtime. Use the good old alarm clock instead of a cell phone to wake up in the mornings.

Talk about first-week anxiety

Tell your child that being nervous is completely natural – It happens even to teachers. One of the best ways to help them cope with these feelings is to: Let them express their fears. You can also share personal stories of your own first-day jitters when you were a child. Talk about the scenarios that make them anxious and offer pointer on how to handle that situation