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Parenting advice for the first day of school

Author John Thompson
Submitted 14-08-2008

Come September, it can be difficult to know who is more nervous about a child’s first day of school – the little one who is starting a new adventure or the parents who are watching them go.

However, a few easy steps can help manage stress related to starting school. Writing in the Shreveport Times, marriage and family therapist David McMillian advises parents that the more familiar a child is with their new environment, the less anxious they will be.

Fathers and mothers can start by chatting with their son or daughter to let them know what kind of schedule and activities they can look forward to on a typical schoolday, he writes.

Going one step further, they can bring their child to school ahead of the first day to get them used to their classroom, show them the nearest bathrooms and introduce them to the teacher.

On the day itself, McMillian suggests that getting a ride with a friend or sitting by someone familiar on the bus to school can help kids relax, as can encouraging them to help prepare their own lunch or lay out their clothes the night before.

A total of 49.8 million children will be enrolled at public elementary and secondary schools this fall, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.