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Back to school: First day advice

The first day of school can be scary for a child. But you can help it go smoothly.

A child heading back to school may have the same feelings of apprehension that an adult has when starting a new job. But as a parent, you can help make the first day easier, says the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Try these tips:

  • Explain to your children that everyone feels uneasy on the first day. Let them know teachers will help make everyone comfortable.
  • Point out the positive things about being back in school. Remind children of the good times they've had in the past and the fun they'll have with their friends this year.
  • Give your child strategies for dealing with bullies. Children shouldn't give in to bullies but rather walk away and tell them to stop. If a bully becomes a problem, talk to your child's teacher.
  • Find another child in the neighborhood your child can walk to school or ride the bus with. If your child is older, have him or her offer to walk or wait at the bus stop with a younger child.
  • If you feel it's appropriate, take your child to school and pick him or her up on the first day.

When children are starting a new school, it's important to discuss their excitement and concerns. Share your optimism but don't create unrealistic expectations about how wonderful it will be.

Reviewed 10/7/2022

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This information is provided for educational purposes only. Individuals should always consult with their healthcare providers regarding medical care or treatment, as recommendations, services or resources are not a substitute for the advice or recommendation of an individual's physician or healthcare provider. Services or treatment options may not be covered under an individual's particular health plan.