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Baylor College of Medicine News

Preparations help children, parents transition into new school year

The new school year isn't just about the kids - parents play an important role in making the school year successful for their children and that can be a source of stress. Doctors at Baylor College of Medicine say planning ahead is the key to low stress.

Shop early

"As a parent, there are some new-school-year issues that you know to expect. There will be new teachers and schedules, and new school supplies or clothes will be needed. Rather than waiting until the last minute, start early getting all these supplies and information ahead of time," said Dr. James Bray, associate professor and psychologist in the department of family and community medicine at BCM. "Spacing out these new purchases could also help with budgeting, which in turn will help relieve stress as well."

Meet teachers

Bray says getting involved in your child's school is important. Getting to know teachers will help by creating a good relationship and opening the lines ofcommunication early. This is also a chance to talk about any special needs your child may have or to understand what is expected of them throughout the year.

"It is important to be aware of your child's schedule since you will most likely be the one dropping off or picking up," Bray said. "Planning their schedule ahead of time will help you plan yours."

Get acquainted with other parents

Getting to know other parents is also helpful for those days when your schedule might not match up with your child's.

"Talking with other parents might open the door to planning carpools, or give you someone you can call on for help when last minute schedule changes occur," Bray said.

Reducing stress for you will in turn help you focus on your child having a successful school year.