Getting back into the swing of going back to school can cause anxiety for many children and their parents. The mornings become rushed, the homework begins, and life just becomes faster paced along with the changes that come along with back to school such as new teachers, classmates and materials that can lead to increased stress. Here are some suggestions that you can do to help relive the back to school stress in your children and yourselves. During the summer months we take our cues from the sun and typically stay up later. If you prepare a couple weeks ahead of time it can ease the transition of back to school if you begin going to bed earlier and practice your school routine in the mornings. It also helps if your try to eat on a more regular schedule. Not only do the younger children need quality sleep so do the teens and adults in order to function properly. By getting your schedule regulated ahead of time it will help to ensure that you will be prepared for the start of school and it will help to elevate some of your stress so you will not feel as much of the anxiety over the event of the first week of school. It is also important to attend the schools open houses before the first day of school. If you are unavailable to attend the open house make a point of visiting the school with your child prior to the start of school. This is especially important for first timers for kindergarten, middle school, and high school. By doing this it helps them feel more comfortable the first day of school. It takes away the unknown and helps them to feel more comfortable. This is good even for returning students so they can learn where their classroom is and have the opportunity to meet school staff. During the first weeks prior to the start of school staff is there getting prepared so by visiting it helps the children to get excited about going back as they see the staff preparing for them.
I can remember as a child it was always exciting to go shopping before the start of school getting new clothes, shoes, and supplies. It made the start of school more exciting because I had all this new stuff. I can remember picking out my back pack and lunch box. By taking your child with you it helps them to get excited by helping to pick out their new clothes, shoes, backpack, and lunch box. It is also fun for them to help find the supplies on their school list. I can remember how exciting it was to have a new box of crayons and still to this day the smell of the new box of crayons brings back good memories for me of the start of school. It is also a good idea to prepare a study area for your child and make sure that it is supplied with necessary school supplies so that your child will get off to a good start with their studies and homework. Make sure their study place is in a quiet area. It is also a good idea to have your child choose their clothes out the night before and placing their shoes and backpack by the door. By refining your morning routine it will help to save time in the morning and help make the back to school transition easier. It is also important that you talk to your child about how they are feeling about their return to school. Also talk to the about what is exciting about going back to school. Excitement can also cause anxiety. If your child expresses any negativity towards school focus on validating their feelings then help them find solutions or change their focus to the positive things like seeing friends learning new exciting things and growing up. This is also a good time to talk with your child about bullies, peer pressure, and any other important topics you feel would be good for your child to better understand. This will help them feel more comfortable and you can help them to better understand the expectations and help them to trouble shoot these situations. It is very important that you create an open line of communication with your child so they know you are there to support them and so they can feel comfortable about having open discussions with you. This is crucial to your relationship with your child and for your child’s success in school. The most important issue in dealing with back to school anxiety is to be prepared mentally, logistically and any other way possible. Make sure you accentuate the fun stuff like friends, new supplies, new teachers, and growing up. If you show excitement for the new school year your child will feed off of it and become excited too by converting their nervous energy into excited energy.