The first day of school is met with both excitement and trepidation. Some kids look forward to it and other kids lie awake at night worrying about it. The same is true for parents, as thoughts of school shootings and stories of abuse linger in our minds it’s often frightening to think of trusting our children to others. For all those reasons and more, as back to school looms it’s time to talk to your kids, to listen to their fears and make sure the first few days of school start smoothly.
Parents need to remember that what sounds like nothing to us, can be of major significance to our children. Assistant Superintendent for Sun Prairie Schools in Madison, WI, Stephanie Leonard Witte reminds us, “Just recognizing that it could be a stressful time for kids and the more you can talk about it and have open conversations… I think that can help students just have a positive attitude when they come back.” Take your children’s fears seriously, answer them honestly and make it a great school year. To help start the conversation, check out our back to school list of conversations you should have with your kid before the first day.
1. How to Handle Bullies
With kids back to school, it’s crucial to have a talk with your children about bullying in all its forms. Encourage them to tell a trusted adult if they’re being bullied and to speak up if they see it happening to others. Make sure you’re familiar with the school’s policies on bullying.
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