1. Plan ahead for the morning. Revert back to the school-day bedtime & wake-up schedule a few days in advance. Get a little extra sleep a couple of days before (you and your child!) Lay out the first day’s clothes the night before, pack the backpack and lunch the night before… whatever you can do to have fewer ‘must dos’ the morning of.

2. Be familiar with the school and teachers. Together, visit the classroom, the bathroom, the lunchroom, the playground, etc before school starts. Meet the teacher(s) and any classmates you can.

3. Reduce your family’s obligations for 2-3 weeks.

4. Remind yourself of the enormous energy commitment that being in school requires from your child. They have to be “on” for 8 hours–focused, participating, polite, thinking, doing, sitting, not in charge of their activities… this requires a lot of energy/focus/self-discipline/self-regulation. It’s significant for all children, and it’s overwhelming for some. For example, is your child introverted, shy, challenged in some academic areas, challenged in a behavioral or social area, reluctant to separate from you… any one of these means that the already BIG deal that is school will be that much harder.

5. Take care of yourself. At some point your child is going to need some support–whether it’s in help burning off extra energy, talking about stressors, or patience in managing and forgiving acting-out behaviors. Make sure you take care of yourself, so you’ll have the needed reserves for dealing with whatever your child says/does.

Good luck!