Summer is almost over and kids may have had camp experiences, neighborhood playtimes, grandparent visits, family vacations and time away from the daily routine of going to school and all that entails.

I believe there are four major areas that need to be re-discovered before school begins and this is the task of every parent who wants to steer his/her child toward a positive school year, a consistent home life and a viable social and emotional life filled with self-worth, reachable goals and steady social communication with friends.  This is not a comprehensive list, but touches some of the main bases.

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Let’s take a look at the 4 Areas:

1.  Emotional/Spiritual

2. Social relationships

3.  Family responsibilities

4.  Academics

Let’s first discuss how a coParent can prepare their child emotionally and spiritually for going back to school. it is important to teach your child to be good to him/herself. Have your child set the course of each day with something positive to accomplish. Set a goal overtly and write it down. Hang it on your child bulletin board – it can be a goal academically, socially or internally.

Teach them to wake up and spend 5 minutes meditating on an uplifting principle that will set the course of each day – example – “I am worthy,” “I can ask for help when needed,” I know how to be a good friend,” “I am honest”…etc.

A morning “to do chart” is a helpful tool to be posted in your child’s room – limit this to 4-5 steps – example: wash up, get dressed, pack your backpack, eat breakfast and place your dishes in the sink.  Tailor this list to your family’s objectives. Some families have objectives of chores in the morning routine (feeding the dog or cat, bed making etc…).

I suggest having a technology free morning – no TV, tablets, cell phones or the like for ALL family members. Just focus, be positive and have your child get into the car/pool or bus to school feeling good inside, not rushed and in a positive frame of mind.

Take your child for a school drive-by if the school does not offer a planned class tour or visit; or with your school “veterans” just drive by to take a look at their familiar grounds. Plan out your child’s school wardrobe together, take them shopping if needed, if they wear uniforms do some clothes fittings to see what sizes are realistic as growth spurts are happening all the time. Have your child pick out something new (even a little homemade necklace or key chain) to wear on the first day. Go backpack shopping along with the attendant school supplies (make sure the school provides a list).

Help your child to fee comfortable, safe and ready to begin the school year with enthusiasm.

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About Judith Bin-Nun, PhD

Judith Bin-Nun, Ph.D. MA, LMFT, LPCC, Child Development Specialist, Educator, Artist

Ph.D Clinical Child Psychology, LMFT, LPCC, MA Jewish Education, MA Psychology, MA Marriage, Family and Child Counseling, BA Cum Laude UCLA, Lifetime California Standard Teaching Credential K-9, BJE Principal’s License, APT Registered Play Therapist and Supervisor, RJE Reform Jewish Educator from National Association of Temple Educators, Delta Society Pet Partners/Animal Assisted Therapy: UCLA PAC (People Animal Connection) AAT Team, R.E.A.D.Program, Paws4Healing LA Chapter, Delta Pet Partner: Volunteer-Locked Child/Adolescent Psychiatric Unit UCLA NPI, Wadsworth VA locked psychiatric ward, Alzheimer/Dementia patients at OPICA (drop off adult daycare center) and with developmentally disabled adults at Exceptional Children’s Foundation.

Services: Play Therapy, Individual or Couples Psychodynamic Psychotherapy, Anger Management, Attachment Therapy, Psychodynamic Psychotherapy – Eclectic and Spiritually Based Therapy, Behavior Therapy (CBT), Educational Consultation, Parent Guidance, Recreational Therapy – Studio Art and Cooking Therapy Groups, Social Skills Therapy, Social Skills work for Autistic Spectrum Disorder, and Couples and Family Counseling, Individual and Family Work.