08 Sep 3 Ways Parents Can Reduce Back To School Stress
The new school year is full of excitement and challenges. Young people worry about fitting in, liking their teachers, new classes and getting good grades.
Not only do we as parents have the same worries, we also worry about managing lunches, homework, extracurricular activities, after school care and mornings.
Let’s face it – being back at school is a lot for everyone to deal with!
The beginning of the school year is a perfect time to establish a new rhythm in your house. Routines help you and your children develop self-discipline and feel more confident. They can reduce or eliminate power struggles and teach your children to take age appropriate responsibilities.
Routines are about establishing healthy expectations for everyone.
Since I travel with my presentations, coming up with a schedule for taking our son to the bus and getting him from school needs to be figured out in advance. Each month my husband and I create a schedule of who’s doing what each day. This gives us peace of mind especially in the mornings – we all know how crazy they can be!
Here are some tips to help with your morning routines:
- Create an evening ritual that ensures everyone gets to bed at their scheduled time. Taking on the day is much easier when everyone has had enough sleep.
- Allow enough time in the morning to get ready, eat and chat in an unhurried manner setting the tone for the rest of the day.
- The night before have your children help prepare lunches, choose their clothes and pack their bags. This alone will increase your mental well-being in a very positive way.
- Create a morning checklist and see how much time it takes to get through it. Then adjust until it works.
But let’s be honest – these won’t ALWAYS happen so learning to be flexible with your routines is important. Allowing yourself to get stressed over your routines and worrying whether or not they are being followed every day loses the benefits you are trying to create. Flexibility builds Resilience.
There’s a lot of change and uncertainty that comes with the new school year. Stressed children can be more reactive to their emotions and take them out on others.
Helping your child deal with their emotions can be challenging, especially when you are also feeling overwhelmed, frustrated and even exhausted.
It’s important to remember that being able to identify, feel and release emotions in a healthy way is an ongoing process. It takes practice and effort to strengthen.
These 3 steps will reduce the length and frequency of emotional outbursts:
- Listen to what is bothering them without trying to use logic to get them to feel better.
- Help them name the emotion they are experiencing. If they don’t have words to describe the emotion you may find the poster below helpful.
- Give them examples of what they can do to move through their emotions in a healthy way. Below are some suggestions.
Building a Strong Family Bond
Things might feel a little crazy at the beginning of the new school year, making it extra important to set aside time with your family.
Spending time together will help your children adjust to the new school year. They’ll feel supported and better able to handle stress which will help them bounce back from any challenges they may encounter.
Limit TV and technology. Instead, play games, read together or take a family walk.
Take time to sit down together for dinner and share about each other’s day.
A great way to start a discussion is to have everyone answer the question ‘How did you make a difference today?’ Ask this question every day.
Neither you nor your children will forget the meaningful times you spend together.
Until next time…
About the Author
Sara Westbrook is a Motivational Speaker/Singer/Author specializing in Resilience, Confidence & Mental Well-Being. She has performed her UPower presentations to over 250,000 students, parents, and educators.
She is the author of ‘The UPower Journal’ – a book for youth to not only express their thoughts and emotions, but also to build their confidence, resilience, and mental well-being through the personal stories, many exercises and quotes found inside.