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5 Ways for Parents to Motivate Their Kids for Back-to-School Time

5 Ways for Parents to Motivate Their Kids for Back-to-School TimeAs the summer winds down and stores bring out their back-to-school supplies, parents and children start to feel different emotions about the new school year.

Students may feel anxiety about a new school or a new teacher. They may not want to think about homework, tests and the pressures of school. Parents, however, may be dreaming of having their students back on a schedule.

If your child is feeling apprehensive about the upcoming school year, there are many ways you can get them excited.

Here are five fun ways:

  1. Create a countdown calendar. Each day, create an activity day that will get your child excited about the new school year. For example, create a craft that will help him or her imagine what their school year will be like. Take him or her shopping at favorite stores to pick out new clothes, shoes and supplies. Also, celebrate summer days with water play and other warm-weather activities. Incorporating both in the same calendar will help kids keep busy the rest of the summer and get excited for the new school year.
  2. Schedule a “read and rest” time in your day. If your kids still nap, or before going to bed, have them read books about going to school. Help them imagine what their new class will be like. Incorporate extracurricular activities that start in the fall, such as soccer, dance and football, and discuss which one your child would like to participate in.For older students, discuss and plan their back-to-school schedule and set goals. Talk about their extracurricular activities and interests. What are they excited about? What are they concerned about? What do they want to accomplish? Keep the conversation positive.
  3. Show the importance of education. You can do this by showing your kids pictures of you in school and sharing your positive stories about school.
  4. Get children excited about potential professions. Create a “ What do you want to be when you grow up?” activity. Younger kids will usually tell you. Take a field trip to the fire or police departments, for example, to get kids excited about careers. Usually fire and police personnel are happy to answer questions from children and parents. Have your child ask different questions, such as: How much schooling is required? or What is your favorite part of your job?For older children, help them research careers and colleges. Your state department of education website usually has free links to interest inventories (for picking a major), financial aid calculators, and the like.
  5. Create a positive environment. As a parent, you may be enthusiastic and have a positive attitude about the new school year. But it’s also helpful if all adults around your child have positive and excited attitudes. For instance, kids may discuss with their grandparents the new friends they will meet.

It is hard for parents and children to realize that summer vacation is over. It’s hard to give up the extra bonding and fun activities. It is important for children to see how much we loved the summer but that we, too, are excited for the new school year.

5 Ways for Parents to Motivate Their Kids for Back-to-School Time

Cami Brocksmith

Cami Brocksmith is the parent of a beautiful 5-year-old and has been an educator for over nine years. She has a BA in psychology and is finishing her MA in school guidance counseling.

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APA Reference
Brocksmith, C. (2018). 5 Ways for Parents to Motivate Their Kids for Back-to-School Time. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 5, 2020, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 Jul 2018 (Originally: 5 Aug 2014)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 Jul 2018
Published on Psych All rights reserved.