Mental Health Tips for Families

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Helpful Tips for School Transitions and Better Mental Health

August 23, 2021

In a few short weeks, thousands of school classrooms, hallways, playgrounds, and athletic fields across Osceola County will be filled with the energy and enthusiasm that a new school year brings to children and adolescents. For many students, the return to school also brings anxiety and worry, especially for those who are making the transition from elementary to middle school and from middle to high school. Oftentimes, it is the fear of the unknown that can be overwhelming for young people. To add to the stress of students, many are coming back from digital learning and will be in the classroom for the first time in a year.  

Making the Transition Easier: 

Middle and high school are much more complex environments than grade school. The campuses are larger with more students, and your child will have to get in the habit of navigating to a different classroom for each subject. Here are some tips and strategies for helping to make a smooth transition: 

  • Encourage your child to join a sports team, club, or other extracurricular activities.  
  • Help your child establish effective routines, and remind them that it may take some time for things to become second nature.  
  • Encourage your child to advocate for themselves and to speak up when necessary. 
  • Set goals and remind them to focus on those often. The point of working hard isn’t just to get good grades but instead to build a happy, successful future filled with more opportunities. 

More Tips for Parents to Support Students: 

  • Explore the school’s website together: Read the previous year’s postings to get an idea of what happens throughout the year, including announcements and events. You can also visit the School District of Osceola County’s website for specific parent and student resources.  
  • Accompany your child on campus tours and Open House: This will give your child the opportunity to get familiar with the campus, meet their teachers and classmates, and ask any questions they may have outside the pressures of the first day of school. To find when your child’s Open House is for the Osceola County School District, click here.   
  • Establish new routines a week prior to the first day of school: Healthy habits at home will translate to better organization when the school year starts! This includes a bedtime routine, a healthy breakfast, and a dedicated area in the home for studying.   
  • Talk about their class schedule and what to expect during a normal school day: This will help your child manage expectations and provide structure to the unknown for them, especially for things like changing classes for the first time, riding the school bus, and changing clothes for P.E. class. 
  • Ensure your student knows how they will get to school and home: This will provide your child with a feeling of safety and security.

Regardless what grade your child is going into, it’s important to reassure them there are many adults on campus to help and support them. Let them know that everyone at school is there to help each child succeed. Encourage them to ask an adult for help if they need it at school. 

If you are looking for more mental health back-to-school resources and support, contact your school's guidance counselors or check out some of our other blogs.  

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