FORT MYERS, Fla — Your child may have more back-to-school jitters than usual this year.
For many, it's been more than just the summer off. So Fox 4 is working to give you the tools you need to make sure they're able to adjust.
Kids are less than a week away from heading back to school in Southwest Florida.
If it's been awhile since your child has done in-person learning, or if they're simply still adjusting, we have some tips that can help.
Not only are kids working to get back on a more normal schedule, they're also adjusting to things like socialization again.
Florida Gulf Coast University Clinical Assistant Professor and Director of the Community Counseling Center Dr. Alise Bartley said that as a parent, the first thing to do is make sure you're sending a positive message.
“That this is going to be something that's going to be good and healthy and it's going to be fun to be with our friends, to be learning, to be growing and developing. So that's probably the most important message that we need to be sending,” Dr. Bartley explained.
But some adjustments, especially getting into a more normal routine, will take time. Dr. Bartley said being prepared is key, and you can start helping them adjust now in the days leading up to the first day of school.
“Our children are going to be cranky, this is going to be a huge transition. So they've maybe had a little bit of a looser bedtime schedule or an eating schedule. It's important for us as parents to start structuring our time with our children,” she said.
She suggests setting consistent bed and meal times now, and planning for consistent study times once school starts.
Dr. Bartley also said to expect pushback with that shift in structure, especially on the weekends. But she strongly encourages sticking to it as much as possible then, too.