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PUBLISHED: 4:20 PM on Wednesday, August 15, 2007
Easing your child back into school
HOUSTON - Establishing a normal school routine can be hard for children of any age after the long lazy days of summer.

Dr. James H. Bray, a family psychologist and associate professor of family and community medicine at Baylor College of Medicine, offers the following tips to help make going back to school a less stressful experience for both children and parents.

1. Get kids into the school mode early. Many children have a summer schedule that includes staying up late and sleeping in. Kids need at least a week before school starts to get back into the school schedule.


Courtesy photo
  Talk to your children about what they want to accomplish and get out of their school year to help going back to school a less stressful experience for both children and parents.
2. Develop a plan. Doing things like buying supplies and clothes, and finding out about schedules and teachers in advance, rather than waiting to the last minute, helps reduce stress for parents and kids.

3. Talk with children about their fears and concerns. Many children who are changing schools or even classes have anxieties and fears. Discuss their concerns and do some advance problem solving and planning.

4. Get involved with your child's school. Get to know your child's teachers. Make a point of meeting them and discussing their expectations. Use the meeting to talk about your child's special needs and goals. Find out about homework and projects. Teachers are more likely to contact parents when they have a good relationship. Also, get to know other parents as a way of sharing responsibilities (like car pooling) and learning about school expectations.

5. Talk to your children about what they want to accomplish and get out of their school year. Discuss their academic and social goals, but emphasize balance. After school activities should not detract from academic work or add stress to their lives.


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