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Prepare your kids for school

If you've got a kindergartner-to-be, you might see some personality changes in the weeks before school starts. It can be a tough transition, even for a kid who's been to preschool. He knows he'll have a new school and a new teacher, and that this is a big step in growing up. While some children may get clingy and weepy, others might act defiant and argumentative. To reduce your child's anxiety:

Explain what's new...Faced with the unknown, an inventive kid's imagination goes into overdrive. So explore the new school as much as you can: Show him where he'll enter, and check out the playground.

...and what's the same. Reassure him that plenty of things will be just as he's used to: You'll still make him lunch, read him stories, and take care of him.

Have fun getting set. Shopping for school supplies is an almost guaranteed mood booster, and a playdate with a future classmate can make the first few days more comforting.

Tell him he's ready. Point out what he already knows  -- like how to listen and how to hang up his coat and sit in a circle. Or use everyday situations to note how well prepared he is: When he shares a toy, you can say, "Your new teacher is going to love seeing sharing like that."

Remind him he doesn't have to know everything. Little kids sometimes forget that the other kids in their class will be new to school, too. He's still nervous? Enlist an upbeat first-grader to fill your child in on what to expect.


Want to change your school? Parenting and Georgetown University has teamed up to launch Mom Congress, a brand-new program to help moms connect and advocate for positive change in their children's education.
Join the Mom Congress initiative