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Five Important Conversations to Kick Off a New School Year

Amber Brandt  |  June 25, 2024
The beginning of a new school year is full of jitters – whether you’re a Kindergartner attending school for the first time, starting at a new school, moving up to middle school, high school, or anywhere in between! Transitions of any kind can bring up lots of emotions especially when new schedules, teachers, classrooms, and friends are all in the mix, but open dialogue with your child can help to ease some of the questions and nerves.

Here are five conversation starters you can use to help you child navigate the transition:

“You don’t have to know every answer.”
Learning always takes time, and it isn’t always easy. Remind them that it’s okay not to be good at everything right away, and that school is meant to present them with new information to challenge them and help them grow. It’s okay if it takes some time.

“You are great just as you are.”

Many kids worry about fitting in at school, especially if a good friend has moved away, they’ve experienced bullying in the past, or are facing an entirely new school where they don’t know anyone. Allow them space to communicate any worries and remind them that they always belong – with you.

“The best thing you can be is kind.”
So much of what happens in your child’s day is out of their control – but what they can control is how they treat others. Remind them about how to be kind, how to show respect for others, and workshop how they might handle it if someone isn’t being kind to them, including how to ask an adult for help.

“You might feel homesick for me, and that’s totally normal.”
It’s a big adjustment for children to go back to school after they’ve been spending more significant time with their parents over the summer break. Help to build their trust by reminding them you’ll always come back for them, and that they are spending their day with caring adults who will take good care of them. Remind them that you’re only one phone call or text message away from their teacher/the office.

“Change can be hard, but it can also be good.”
This is a necessary reminder for all of us. Explain that it can be very normal to miss what used to be – feel free to admit you’ll probably feel a little bit of sadness getting back into the school routine too if that’s true for you – and that it’s normal to feel a lot of different feelings at once. Challenge is how we grow, and they’re going to grow SO much this year.


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