It's back to school...again! For some parents, its the most wonderful time of the year. The kids are no longer lounging around eating all of the food out of the fridge. For other parents, it's time to get back in to the swing of things and just the thought of it can make anyone stressed out. Whether you have kiddos who are ready to start the new school year and hit the ground running or the kiddos who are absolutely dreading to go back, here are some tips to help minimize back to school anxiety and stress:
Remind Them it's a New Start: For the kiddos who may tend to struggle through the school year, it's important to remind them they have a new start! Implement a strategy to get this new start going successfully. Collaborate with them (and teachers) by creating great study habits, chunk assignments if necessary, and taking brain breaks away from long assignments of subjects that tend to overwhelm them. Often times, I hear students dread school because of past school years where they did not do so well. Remind your student that it's a new start and that you are there to support them on their academic journey.
Get Help From the School: If your kiddo is in need of extra help or resources, please use them! That's what they are there for! Do not feel you are imposing or that it makes you feel less than a "good" parent. The teachers, staff, counselors, and therapists love when the parents are engaged in their students academic life. Your student's school really wants to meet them where they are so they can be successful!
Practice Coping Skills: If your kiddo is feeling anxiety or stress by not wanting to get out of bed, crying, or sadness put into place some coping skills in your morning routine to help minimize anxiety symptoms. Deep breathing exercises, grounding exercises, mindfulness, affirmations, or listening to music that will calm your student (I tell my students at the middle school and high school to choose a song that makes them feel good or smile and make it there morning theme song. They usually love that they can pick music that resonates with them and make it a part of their everyday story).
For Parents: Sometimes past school years have been stressful for you, right? The phone calls from the teachers or the principal, fights, bullying, very active school schedules, gossiping peers, or just life happens at school...everyday. I want to encourage you that you are the best person to do the job for your kiddo. You are doing your best and it can be overwhelming at times. However, you being there for those calls or wiping away the tears from an encounter with a bully means the world to them. They remember those moments along with the good ones. Remember to practice self care by having your own quiet time everyday, journaling, listening to music, doing yard work, taking a walk, practicing your faith, or engaging in your favorite hobbies help. When you are refreshed then it makes it easier to pour into your kiddos when they need you most.
Talk to a Therapist: If you find yourself or your kiddo having difficulty adjusting or there are struggles on daily basis with their school life, a chat with a mental health professional may help.
I hope you have found these tips helpful. Have a Great School Year!
If you are interested in learning more tips, skills, and you are stuck because of an upsetting event(s) from the past school year, contact me for a free 30 minute wellness consultation to connect on www.siloamwellness.com.