Tips for a happy back-to-school time

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Are your eyes tearing up? Are you happy or sad? Maybe a bit of both? It's the start of school and many children and their parents feel a little emotional. How do you navigate this amazing milestone in a way that is positive for your child? 

Dr.  Russell Horton, a pediatrician with Banner Health Center, gives five tips for a happy send-off.

  • Discuss the positives of school -- new friends, playing on the playground everyday, doing art and learning computers.
  • If possible, meet the teacher first. If you can't then try to go to the school and walk around while there are fewer people there to acquaint the child with at least the front of the school.
  • If you are taking your child to school, make a clean break. Tell them, "I love you," and assure them, "You are going to have a great day!" Give them a big hug and leave them with the teacher. Staying longer makes it harder for them to mentally detach from their home mode to their new student mode. 
  • Try to save parent tears for after the break, but if they come, explain that they are tears of joy for the child's newfound adventure. 
  • Make sure you have time when your children come home to truly connect with them in a quality way and without distractions. Encourage them to share their thoughts about their first day of school.
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