Updated: Mar 17, 2020
Some exciting news! I recently got married this past July 4th, 2018. It was the second time for me and for my new wife as well. My wife has a daughter named Khloe, so in addition to being a husband, I am now the stepfather to a five-year-old girl who will be starting first grade this year at her new school in D.C. I never anticipated becoming a father and Khloe has already taught me a lot.
I have an idea now of what it was like for my parents when I was younger going off to school. For example, Khloe has taught me that you don’t just pack your child’s lunch and put them on a bus to school. You have to meet their teachers, double check that they did all of their homework, and make sure you are attentive to how they are feeling about going to school. For example, I never thought that you would have to pack a little bit more for lunch than what you thought they might actually eat. I’ve learned it's a good idea to do so, because you never know if your child will get a little extra hungry after lunch.
There are other tips that I think are useful for when a child or young adult is going back to school, especially if they have learning and attention issues. Try to practice a morning and evening routine a few weeks before school begins. Even planning extra time to get out the door in the morning can be useful in helping them get into a new routine.
In the end, they might not eat all the lunch you pack. The important thing is to not ask why or get upset. Maybe they didn’t like it. Maybe they weren’t hungry. Or maybe, hopefully, they got distracted talking to all their new friends.
Back to school season doesn’t need to be stressful for parents or their kids. Check out Understood.org’s Start School Strong campaign for tips on how to ease the back-to-school jitters, and follow us on Facebook for more resources. Happy back to school!