by Dr Ray Swann

How to help your son have a good start to the school year

One of the challenges for our sons, as they head back to school in these first few weeks of the academic year, is the inevitable nerves.

It can feel like a big change, a lot of work, and a bit scary for them to step back into school life. Here are some areas for you and him to focus on:


Continue to make sure that your son is adapting to ‘term-time’ again. Ensure all devices are out of rooms at night and build a bedtime routine (even for the older boys).


Reassure your son it is okay to feel a bit nervous and excited in these first few weeks of the new school year. Our kids will read our cues so we need to make sure we take care of ourselves, get into a morning routine once again, and are attentive to being kind and calm to what’s important.

Key to this is having a chat with your son about the day ahead, what to expect, and what to do if the day isn’t going well. At the end of the day, plan a regular walk with him to check in with how he is going.

If you feel he is anxious, let his school know as there are counselling and pastoral programs available to help him.


Your son is more likely to make his own healthy choices as he gets older, if he has grown up in a household with a variety of nutritious food available.

Start the year on a positive note by speaking to your son about the types of food he would like to have in his lunchbox and discuss and offer suggestions on ways he can increase the nutritional value of his lunch.

At home, encourage everyone in the family to get involved in cooking and preparing foods, especially new foods and recipes, and when eating together as a family set the rule that electronic devices need to be turned off.

I wish you and your son good luck with his schooling for the year.



Brought to you by Brighton Grammar School

Dr Ray Swann is Deputy Headmaster and Head of Crowther Centre at Brighton Grammar School, an all-boys school in Melbourne. His professional background includes consulting, research, lecturing and coaching. He is a father of two teenagers. This article is about


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