Parents might be happy that school is starting again, but back to school brings a lot of stress to everyone’s lives. From newer, busier schedules to having to handle a new environment, the start of the school year is a stressful transitional period for both parents and students. Here are a few tips to help manage the back to school stress you will inevitably have to deal with!
In the days leading up, parents should open up a line of communication with their kids. Discuss how they’re feeling, see what they’re excited about and what they’re nervous about. Talking about both good and bad feelings will validate kids and make them more comfortable to talk to you in the future.
Kids do better when they have consistency. Create a schedule and try to get on it now. If your kids have been sleeping in during the summer, start waking them up closer to their school wake up time now. Make sure they know how their day will playout for the first month or so of the new school year. This will help them feel more comfortable with the changes.
Once you have a schedule set, parents should run through it with their kids. Everyone should know what time they’re expected to be up by, eat breakfast by, be dressed by, etc. This goes for both parents and kids! It might even be a good idea to do a run-through.
Back to school is stressful, but it can also be fun. Parents should keep positive, and if they’re stressed about their kids going back they should try to not project that onto them. Make a fun tradition the day of, make a special breakfast, slip a note of encouragement into their backpack, or let them pick a cool new outfit to wear! If kids are excited about going back to school it will be a lot easier.
Kids can only handle so many changes at once. Try to keep the family schedule light as they transition back into school. Avoid planning any big events or excursions until your kids are established back into the school routine. Not only will this be less stressful for parents, but kids will also have an easier time as well!
Are you or your children not dealing with back to school stress well? Consider talking to a mental health specialist at Delray Center for Healing so we may help!
Since 2003, the Delray Center for Healing has provided exceptional psychiatric and therapeutic care for mental health, eating, and substance use disorders. To learn more about our philosophy and treatment approach, download our free e-book, “Psychiatry Redefined,” written by our founder and medical director, Raul J. Rodriguez, MD.