Expert Advice: 5 Back to School Tips from Sue Atkins

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Read the parenting expert's Sue Atkins back to school tips. Here is how parents and kids--and also nannies and sitters--get ready for the new school year:


1. Back to school bedtime

About two weeks before the school term begins set a slightly incrementally earlier bedtime, and a slightly earlier morning wake-up time. This will gently bring your kids back to your normal school time routine after the long summer holidays. This will make sure that when school starts, your kids will wake up with the correct amount of sleep that they need for their age-group and be ready to hit the ground running for the new school year.


2. Do it the night before

For an easier school morning, do everything that can be done the night before, e.g. pack lunches, lay out clothes, plan breakfast, pack homework, sign school letters and pack their reading book and put everything by the front door ready for the morning.  Also, think about taking showers and baths, especially if your kids still need help, into your bedtime routine so there’s no panic first thing in the morning. It will set your day up more positively.


3. Be positive, upbeat & matter of fact

Don’t feed the fear by acting and appearing nervous as you will make your child feel that something is wrong. If you are confident, they will feel more secure and ready for the day ahead.


4. Talk to other adults

... like friends, your partner, and especially other parents. Many other people have gone through sending their child off to school for the first time and they may have good tips and strategies. And they will be able to give you support but don’t talk to your child about your worries because that will make them anxious.


5. Connect & chat with your child about school

At the end of the day, ask your child how the day went and what they did. They will probably say ‘nothing’ so pick your moment--sometimes children open up at bath or bedtime. Sound interested in their school day as it gets your child in the habit of sharing information about their life and activities.


About Sue Atkins

Sue Atkins is an internationally recognized parenting expert, broadcaster, speaker and author of the Amazon best-selling books Parenting Made Easy: How to Raise Happy Children and Raising Happy Children for Dummies. She has launched a Parenting Club bursting with quick win videos, monthly webinars and interviews with experts from around the world.

Sue produces ‘The Sue Atkins Parenting Show’, a free weekly podcast with Sue’s practical ideas, techniques and down to earth strategies for raising happy, confident, resilient children with strong self-esteem. To receive her free ebooks with practical tips and helpful advice from toddler to teen log on to


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