6 Tips to Support the Transition Back to School

Check out these tips from child and youth mental health experts to help make your child’s transition back to school a little easier.

1. Get into a routine

Getting into a routine is a common challenge as kids head back to school. This year, it may be even more difficult. Working with your kids to agree on new rules around routines (including a regular sleep schedule) could help get them on the right track. 

2. Communicate with kids

One of the most powerful ways you can support your child through the process of returning to school is by trying to understand how they are feeling about it. Find the right time to ask them questions and listen to what they are experiencing – without criticizing. 

3. Sit in the yuck 

The unknown can feel yucky. It’s ok to have conversations with your kids and ‘sit in the yuck’ with them – that means, you are hearing their concerns and validating their feelings without necessarily being able to solve the problem. 

4. Pack your bags the night before

Having your backpacks packed, clothes picked out and lunches prepared the night before can not only make things easier the next day, but also helps with building back routines. 

5. Communicate with the school 

Staying connected with the school gives you an opportunity to work together as a team and ensure kids feel heard and assured that you can get through this. 

6. Give kids time to adjust

Different kids will be feeling different things about the return to school. It’s important to give them time to transition back – it’s a lot of change! But pay attention to signs that may be a warning of something more serious going on for them. If your child is so stressed that they are not sleeping or eating well, having persistent headaches or stomach aches or perhaps they are wanting to stay in bed all day, it can be a sign that they need help. Reach out for help. 

For more back-to-school resources and tips, visit

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Children’s Mental Health Ontario has 4,000 child and youth mental healthcare workers across Ontario ready to help parents and their children. Depending on your needs, we can connect you to child mental health professionals that will help you and your family.