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This is Part 3 in our Back-to-School series.  We’ve talked about easing anxiety in Part 1 and establishing routines in Part 2.  Now we will cover the fun stuff – traditions!

We all have them – those special things we do every year without even questioning them.  Perhaps we always make sugar cookies for the holidays.  Or, we have chocolate cake on our birthday.  Or, we sort out our clothes every fall.  Traditions have a very important role in our lives.  And for good reason.  They provide continuity.  They give our life a shape that we can recognize from one year to the next. They also help us establish a sense of belonging.  We know we are going to attend the family Memorial Day cookout even though Aunt Ginny makes us crazy – because that is what our family does.

Traditions can help us cope with the uncertainty and change that is inevitable in life.  And, we can use their power to help our children transition back to school.  By instituting some fun and special traditions, we can even make this a time of year they anticipate. 

Here are some ideas to get you started:

  1. Allow your child to plan special lunches for the first week of school.
  2. A week or so before school starts, plan a special shopping trip to buy a first day of school outfit.  And, then hang it where your child can anticipate wearing it. You may throw in a trip to the salon for a trim while you’re out.
  3. Pick a favorite, special breakfast that you make every year for the first day back.  In my house, it would be impossible for my kids to return to the classroom without a belly full of biscuits and gravy.
  4. Before you head out the door on that first day back, take a picture of your child in the same spot each year.  What a great scrapbook come graduation!
  5. Celebrate a successful first day with a fancy feast.  Decorate and serve family favorites.


So, there are a few suggestions to get you started.  Now it’s your turn.  What new traditions will make this time of year special for your family?  Get started today!

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