At least that’s what the kids are saying.   Summertime is the time to live footloose and fancy free…spend time with friends, hang out, go to parties, and eat pizza.  For some, it’s an opportunity to finally get up the nerve to ask that boy or girl out, drive anywhere else but school or, get their first summer job.


But no sooner than when the fun begins, we see the back to school commercials on TV, on the radio and in stores.  An annoying reminder of what’s coming next.


But don’t despair, there are some simple things that parents can do to help with the transition.


They can start by reintroducing energy foods back into their kids’ diets. This way, their bodies can start to readjust to the cafeteria food that they’ll be eating.


Just about a week or two before school starts, depending on the youngster, have them practice waking up at the time they usually do for school.  If they have a summertime commitment then have them pack their (book) bags and pick out clothes the night before.


If an after school activity is a thought for the school year then get them involved now, either through the school or rec leagues, so that they can get a feel for it or improve for try outs.


Encourage them to do Math and/or read daily.  It’ll be a challenge but they can lose some of their skills over the summer.  Set up a reward system or help your child rediscover the joy of reading for FUN- it’ll help when school starts and they have to read what’s assigned.


If the child has been having difficulty in school academically then getting a tutor beforehand would be advised. There’s nothing like starting of the year in a one down position or feeling like a failure.  Try to design your ‘Good Grades Plan.’  This is the plan where rewards for good grades are clarified so that your child knows what to expect, as well as consequences for the contrary.


If there were emotional and behavior problems during last school year, then seeking professional help from a therapist, psychologist or psychiatrist would be the way to go now.  Don’t forget to include a plan to consult with the school’s Guidance Counselor, preferably before school starts. {looking for some extra support through the school year? check out our monthly classes for teens & parents!}


Check to make sure that you’ve scheduled a medical appointment for a physical and have your pediatrician complete any medical forms that the school nurse or afterschool care facility might need.  And that goes for filling prescriptions too, now is the time to call them in.


You can think about having a date with your child to casually talk about their anticipation of the upcoming school year.  Sometimes they’re completely stoked and sometimes there’s fear, anxiety, sadness, or even confusion.  Not all kids are forthcoming so I’ll issue a warning; the older the child the less time they’ll spend talking to you on this subject.  But don’t worry, you don’t need a lot of time to still have quality conversation with them.  To help the process you can go to an ice cream parlor, coffee shop, restaurant, nail salon; basically any place that facilitates conversation, especially if it’s a place they like.


Finally, plan a last hoorah for the youngster whether it be a back to school party, sleepover, major hang out with friends at your house or a trip to a theme park.  It would not only be a clear demarcation that summer is over but a celebration of its culmination.  End summer on high note and let those good feelings float into the new school year!