Advice on transitioning

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Arminta Jacobson, a University of North Texas professor who founded the Center for Parent Education, offers these tips for parents of students starting kindergarten or high school:

•  Understand that your child isn’t changing. It’s their environment that is changing — their teachers, peers, routines and expectations.

•  Some children will be excited, some not so ready to jump in. Don’t set unrealistic expectations.

•  Take kindergartners to visit their school and classroom before the first day. Play school at home and talk to them about what it will be like.

•  Encourage new high school students to take advantage of opportunities, including extracurricular activities and electives.

•  Help your high schooler find a mentor: a teacher, coach or principal who can answer questions and address concerns.

•  Make sure you are really listening to your children and give feedback.

•  Daily rituals are comforting during transition times. Practice your morning routine before school starts, including eating breakfast, laying out clothes and making lunches.

•  Make time, especially during the first few weeks, to be more available than usual. Pay attention to students’ sleeping patterns and appetites.

•  Make an effort to know as much about the school as possible.

— The Dallas Morning News


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