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Experts explain how to prepare your child to head back to school

Experts say parents should be preparing their students for the return to the classroom starting now. The most important thing to do is establish a routine.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — It may be hard to believe, but kids will be heading back to school very soon.

This can cause stress and anxiety for some children—but there are things you can do to help.

Experts say parents should be preparing their students for the return to the classroom starting now. The most important thing to do is establish a routine.

A mental health expert from the Mental Health Foundation, also known as be nice, says getting back into the practice of better sleep, less screen time, more exercise and healthy eating habits will help those back-to-school blues.

They say a child’s mental health can impact their physical and emotional well-being, which is why parents should stay focused on the positives and have good conversations with their children about stress or anxiety.

“There are so many things that kids actually internalize about these feelings. So make sure as parents that you're talking about these before going back to school and getting ready," said Christy Buck, Executive Director of be nice. "Also, make sure to show your children enthusiasm for these changes and how changes are good."

If you notice your child is having behavior problems, difficulty sleeping, persistent nightmares, constant worrying and crying, then these may be signs of a bigger problem. You should seek advice from your pediatrician.

Other advice: Take your kids back-to-school shopping and let them pick out supplies or an outfit that will get them excited.

Most kids stay up late during the summer months but need a minimum of nine and a half hours of sleep. Getting them on that schedule now will put them on the path to success.

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