Beating Back-To-School Blues

It's that time of year again. It' time to get the kids ready to go back to school.

To help you prepare, The Early Show invited Dr. Lawrence Balter to share important information about how to make the transition to school a smooth one - both for children and their parents.

Dr. Balter is a child psychologist in private practice in New York City and a professor of applied psychology at New York University.

He is the author of several books including Parenthood in America: An Encyclopedia.

The following are his tips to keep in mind when ending the long, leisurely summer break.

  1. Schedule A Dry Run - For kids who are starting school for the first time, it's a good idea to walk the route together a few times before school starts. Knowledge of the physical layout of the school building can be very helpful in orienting a child to new surroundings.
  2. Send Familiar Items - First timers can be helped during their lonely moments by having with them something familiar from home. A set of keys or a photo of the family pet, placed in the lunch box, will do.
  3. Schedule Play Dates - Arrange play dates with children in your child's class so there is a sense of belonging and children will look forward to seeing one another in school.
  4. Discuss School Starting - Read books about school and have your child talk with older siblings and neighborhood kids about school.
  5. At-Home Dress Rehearsal - Introduce some "school-type" routines at home, such as "story time," "snack time," and "rest time".
  6. Adjust Bedtime Routines - Be sure to adjust their bedtime to approximate the school schedule, and get the TV viewing under control.
  7. Shop For School Supplies - Buy a few new school supplies, like pencil cases and notebooks, to give a sense of a fresh beginning.
  8. Plan Ahead The key is preparation. Clothes should be selected and laid out, snacks decided upon, and lunch money set aside the night before the first day. This eliminates last-minute anxieties. Kids should go off to school confident that everything will go smoothly.

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