The first day of school can bring a wide range of emotions: sheer panic for the teenager who “forgot” to complete summer reading because they were too busy playing video games or going to the pool, giddiness for the middle school girl who will return to her old stomping grounds without her braces ready to sit next to her latest crush in homeroom, nervousness for the third grader who doesn’t know his teacher and fighting back tears for the mom who realizes how quickly time moves as she watches her kindergartner climb onto the big, yellow school bus for the first time.

No matter where you or your children fall in that spectrum, the American Academy of Pediatrics list of tips may help with your specific circumstances.

My favorites:

  • Find a friend! See if there are others who walk the same route or ride the same bus as your son or daughter. The buddy system will never go out of style.
  • Picky eaters can be particular! Look up the school cafeteria menu ahead of time and decide together what days your child or children will be buying or bringing lunch to make sure no one goes hungry.
  • Keep an eye on the screen! Even when your children are doing school work, make sure to monitor their computer use, especially online. It creates healthy habits and open communication to talk about what is and what isn’t appropriate.

Click here to discover the entire list and more tips on everything from backpacks to bullies and snacks to studying for children of all ages.