Tips for Successfully Transitioning Into the New School Year

Slowly transition from the unstructured recreation of summer back into the disciplined routine that the coming school year will demand of you and your children. Stepfamilies may find this adjustment especially challenging because of differing rules and expectations between the households.

The following tips will help you and your children prepare for the new school year.

  1. Schedule a meeting with your former spouse and review rules, goals, and expectations for your children. The more similar these are in both households, the easier it is for your children to transition between them successfully.
  2. Encourage your children to respect, accept, and follow the rules of their other home. Your acknowledgment and validation of their other household will help your children in their adjustment to both homes.
  3. Review with your children your rules and expectations of them in the upcoming school year. Consider a behavioral chart with younger children (3-11) and behavioral contracts with older children, specifying rewards and consequences.
  4. Provide your children with a pleasant learning environment at home. Have designated areas and times for study, free of unnecessary distractions.
  5. Communicate with your children’s schools. Notify them of any changes in your family structure, such as remarriage. Also, request to be on the school mailing list, especially if you are not the custodial parent, as schools often leave them out of the loop unless explicitly requested otherwise.

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