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How to calm your kids on their first week of school

Are you saying the right words to your child as they head back to school? Parenting expert Meghan Leahy from "The Washington Post" tells you the do's and don'ts. 

Going back to school for parents and children can be a huge cause of stress in the household - so how do you keep those jitters to a minimum? Parenting expert Meghan Leahy says that parents need to be "drone-like" in their approach - never a "helicopter parent," but around, available and supportive.

Here are her tips to help ease the fears of your little ones!

Normalize the jitters leading up. Parents often will say, “don’t worry” or “everything will be fine” and “all your friends will be there.” But that doesn’t make children feel better. It is more comforting to know that nervousness is normal and okay Everyone gets nervous!

Have a special object. Find a lovey or another item for the child to hold on to while at school. If the child is young, you can literally give them something to hold on to while you are apart. This can give a get deal of comfort. Older kids like (inconspicuous) notes in their lunch or a special little treat.

Make connections. Contact the teachers ahead of time. Ask the teacher about his or her favorite color, favorite food, favorite place to vacation, anything simple. Compare these answers to your child’s favorites and this creates conversation and a way for your young child to have some similarity to their teacher. Ask what you can do to help the teacher - not the other way around!

Be prepared. Expect some crankiness at the end of the day. You know your child best; don’t plan play dates and extensive activities directly after school. Also, be ready with a high-protein snack, good carb snack and resist the urge to pepper your child with too many questions after school. It is too overwhelming!

Have any of your own tips? Send them to us! Watch Great Day Washington every morning at 9 A.M. only on WUSA9

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