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Let's set up every kid for success this school year

Posted: August 20, 2018

Back-to-school time can feel a lot like a second new year.  It creates a fresh start, a new beginning, a hopeful optimism.  As adults we know how important first impressions can be and how long the effects of these first impressions can be.  


These effects are very real in our children’s lives too, and the first few weeks, and even days, of a new school year can be crucial in setting the tone for the rest of the year.  Sometimes, though, they don’t realize it, and before we know it, they are behind in school, they are overlooked in class, they are having a difficult time finding a friend, or they’ve even somehow made it on a bully’s list.  


With a few simple strategies and conversations, we can build the confidence, initiative, and leadership ability in every kid to set them up for success.  Let’s be intentional about preparing our children to put their best foot forward and start the year off right! Start having conversations with your children now to find out what their thoughts and feelings are about the upcoming school year.  Really listen for what specifically makes them excited or what causes them concern.


Utilize some of these tips and topics to empower them to be in control and take the lead this school year.


  • Stand tall with your shoulders back and chin up by keeping our eyes looking at our eye level (not the ground)

  • Look people in the eye and smile

  • Introduce yourself to your teacher

  • Invite 3 classmates to an activity at recess

  • When you don’t understand, raise your hand and ask a question.

  • When you’re confused, come in for extra help

  • Help them mentally prepare for best and worst case scenarios

    • Ask them what would make their first day of school a success in their eyes.  What is their single most important “goal” for the day? To meet someone new?  To find something in common with their teacher? To remember where each classroom is and to walk from class to class with confidence?  

    • Ask them what would make for a bad first day of school?  With each situation, help them come up with solutions to overcome that situation.  Try using “if, then” sentences to help. If someone pushes me or makes fun of me, then I will look him/her in the eye, stand tall and confidently tell them to “knock it off.”