Summer is done and back to school is almost here. For parents it might feel like a sigh of relief and for kids a sigh of resignation. Whether your child is a new or a returning student this year all kids want to be cool. Being cool doesn’t necessarily mean being popular. It’s about being uniquely you. Here are some tips for kids and parents:

5 Back to School Tips for Being Cool

  1. Be nice | Having manners goes a long way. Encourage and practice with your children if need be how to be friendly, say “good morning,” look people in the eye, smile and compliment their clothes or talents. People will know from your first impression that you are a nice person. Showing manners and confidence may also help to avert any future bulling.
  2. Have Your Own Sense of Style | Wear a unique backpack, jewelry item, hat or accessory. Wear clothes that are appropriate but communicates your own sense of style.
  3. Be Clean, Don’t Stink | Be sure to shower, brush your teeth, comb your hair and use deodorant. The last thing your child wants is to stink and be made fun of. Don’t wear a lot of makeup as people will think you are trying too hard.
  4. Look for Kids With Whom You May Have Some Connections | Look for kids who may have similar backpacks as you, who are the same ages or who are in the same grades. Don’t be afraid to strike up a conversation. For kids with social anxiety, parents can help by teaching their child how to introduce themselves. The introduction may go something like this, “Hey my name is Justin and I like Spiderman. Who is your favorite superhero?”
  5. Show Respect | You might meet other kids who are different from you. Be open-minded. Don’t criticize them to other kids, especially those with whom you just met. Don’t talk bad about your teachers. Remember you will be with them for 10 months out of the year. Even if you may not like the way some people dress or how they act remember they are trying to be cool just like you. So take a deep breath and relax, you are not the only one experiencing the first day jitters. Have a positive attitude and remember that school goes by very fast. Study well and make the most of your memories and friendships there.

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Author: Lyris Steuber, MA, LMFT is a Lake Mary Child Play Therapist & Teen Counselor with Total Life Counseling Center. Total Life Counseling Center specializes in helping children, families, teens and parents and our experts can be reached at (407) 248-0030.