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6 Tips for Back to School TBRI Parenting

New school shoes have been purchased. Fresh backpacks have been filled. Parents and children alike are looking forward to what this new school year will bring.

For most, the start of school is a time of new beginnings. Its new clothes and school supplies, a chance to start over fresh with a new set of teachers. For children with a history of trauma and their families, this time of year can feel horribly stressful. The transition from summer to school year is abrupt and is often anything but exciting and fun.

The late Karyn Purvis would probably have taken this time to remind us how uniquely special each child is and how incredibly qualified we are to parent them, regardless of their history. Since she is no longer with us, I wanted to honor her memory and the legacy you are building within your family by providing some tips to help get this year off to a good start.

1. Be a Snack Superhero!

After being at “work” for 8 hours kids are thirsty and hungry. Ensure that they get a nutritious snack and some cool water as soon as they arrive home. If your children go to an afterschool program, speak with the caregivers about how important this is for your child.

2. How was your day?

Be intentional in greeting your child excitedly. If the standard “how was your day” doesn’t get them to open up, here are a few other options:

  • Tell me about what you did at recess.

  • What did you have for lunch?

  • Did you learn anything new today?

  • What was your favorite part of the day?

3. Play to Win!

Our kids need physical activity. Before you even think about recommending that they sit down and do homework, get them outside to get some exercise and burn some energy. Have more of a couch potato? Check out Cosmic Kids Yoga on YouTube. It’s a fun way to get bodies moving and can be done indoors.

4. Snuggle for Security.

What kind of therapeutic touch does your child respond best to -- Back massage, scheduled snuggle time each morning, or holding hands while you take a walk together? Rest and relaxation is just as important for children as it is for adults.

5. Talk to the Teacher.

You know your child’s needs. Don’t make the teacher wait until a conference to help them be successful. Share your knowledge early and communicate often.

6. Ask for Support if you need it.

Having the kids back in school can give you time to focus on what you need to grow through and survive this season of life. Now would be a great time to schedule individual counseling for yourself.

Megan Stroup, MSW, LSW, helps families thrive through every season of life. The photo shared is of Megan’s 7 year old daughter, Emmy. Second grade is tough!

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