For our kids, it’s possibly the toughest time of the year: going back to school. The thought of getting up early, rushing out the door, and filling the day with classwork, school lunches, and homework can overwhelm any child. It’s even more difficult when you consider that our children have spent the past two months filled with freedom and carefree living.

The challenge for parents is figuring out a way to ease the transition — especially for kids who are reluctant to return to school. Maybe there’s a group of kids that make life difficult for your child. Or maybe your child struggles to keep up in class. It’s also possible that your child simply enjoys being at home and doesn’t want to go back just yet.

There are strategies that you can use to assist them in feeling good about themselves and returning to school with an open mind.

Here are a few ideas:

1. Talk About It

Find out exactly what’s bothering your child. Only by having this knowledge can a parent truly begin to help solve the problem. It might take awhile to get it out of your child, but if you’re persistent, it will come.

2. Promise to Be By Their Side

If your child knows that you have their back all the time and that they can talk to you about any issue that arises, fit will make your child feel much more at ease. It will also open up a lasting line of communication.

3. Give Them What They Need

Sometimes our children feel like they stand out at school — and not in a good way. If there’s an item that might make them feel more comfortable about going to school, that could ease their burden. Would some new clothes or a new backpack help them to feel like they fit in a little better? Ask them. 

4. Remind Them of What They Like

Surely your child likes something about school — seeing friends, playing sports during recess, or getting to do experiments in the science lab. Find their motivation and play it up to get your child excited for back-to-school.

5. Plan Some Fun Stuff

Transitioning from a summer filled with play dates, vacations, and fun activities to a regimented school day would make anyone a little sad. It almost feels like a grieving process. To help make that change easier, plan a few fun family outings for the first few weekends of the school year to give everyone something to look forward to.

 6. Take It Easy

When your child heads back to school, they face demands right away. Every school nowadays is rigidly focused on test scores and learning. Rightly so. If you can, give your child a day or two to get re-acclimated to the schedule. That means laying off the demands at home so they can focus on schoolwork for a week or so.