by Wendy Poling
In a previous post we talked about the start of the new school year. I had a friend recently share that her family had spent the night before the first day of school snuggled in their new home trying to get comfortable on air mattresses they had set up in the living room. They had only arrived in country 3 days prior and all of their household goods were still in route! Tackling a new school year is full of challenges, even more so when that new school year starts at a new school.
Here are 5 more simple strategies to help you prepare for a successful school year:
1. Make new friends: If you’ve just moved and are settling into a new neighborhood, remind your student that one of the benefits of starting at a new school is the opportunity to make all new friends and not have the social pressure of past bad experiences. Explain they’ve learned from past experiences and can look for certain qualities in their new friends, for example someone who is: responsible, trust worthy, honest, has a positive attitude, etc.
2. Handle potential bullies early: If you have a concern your student is being bullied, especially in middle school, set up a conference with the teacher. Most of the time the teachers already know the “trouble makers” and can intervene early.
3. Stay connected: If this is your student’s first year at a new school let them video chat with previous schoolmates and long distance family members to talk about their day and experiences. They will make new friends soon, but in the meantime keep the lines of communication open to old friends and family members. Schedule a video chat if mom or dad is deployed or is far from home to share the excitement of the day. One of the new features of a very popular video chat service is the opportunity to now leave a video voice mail.
4. Use a master calendar: Take the time to write down events, appointments, and deadlines on one calendar or use a mobile app. If you have several students this might require consolidating several calendars. Keep your kids informed of what is coming up next so they know what to expect. This step will establish some predictability in their new routines and will lower their stress level.
5. Treat everyday as a new day: Realize your student is going to have both good and bad days. It’s important to tackle each new day with a positive attitude and renewed energy to complete the day. Share with them that even after a rough day; the next day brings a chance for a fresh start.
What are your tips for a successful new school year?
About the Author:
Wendy Poling is a military lifestyle speaker and creator of the popular podcast Military Life Radio. She is a certified Armed Forces Team Building Instructor at Joint Base San Antonio, Texas and USAA’s Deployment Community Manager for their digital Spouse Community. Wendy is married to a retired Navy submariner, who has deployed to Afghanistan, and is a proud soccer mom.