Back to school or new to school

Tomorrow morning the streets of NYC will pound under the weight of thousands of tiny feet. It's back to school or even new to school.

New friends to make, new things to learn, this is a magical time for young children. But it can also bring up anxieties - a fear of the unknown, a fear of never seeing old friends again and a fear of being back in a routine after such a long glorious summer.

There are things we can do as parents and caregivers to help our children adjust more easily. Share your own experiences of your first day in school with a child and let them see that everyone gets nervous. Speak to the other parents and caregivers in your child's new class and organize playdates quickly. Your child will want to forge new relationships on familiar turf like their home or local park. Observe how your child interacts with classmates at drop-off and follow up on any signs of prolonged anxiety. 

Provide your child with plenty of downtime after school, so that they have time to recharge. Involve your child in  the decision of after-school classes. so as to empower them. Nurture a close relationship with your child's teacher. Make the weekends count. If your child asks to stay home at the weekend, consider allowing them to. We all need quiet time where we feel most safe. 

Whether it's a new class in a familiar school or a new school, at this time our children need our support and encouragement. It takes a lot of courage to make new friends and reach new targets. It can be a joyful challenge and an opportunity to create lasting positive memories.

So to all of our little New Yorkers we say 'Well done!' and don't they just look so cute?

because New York kids are different