Help your child manage back to school stress


Returning to school after a long break or starting school for the first time can bring up difficult emotions for children – fear, anxiety, worry, and stress.

Here are three steps you can take to help smooth the transition, and minimize back to school stress, if your children are feeling uneasy about the upcoming school year.

Step 1: Talk About and Manage Concerns
Often a child’s biggest fears are the ones that go unexpressed. Give your kids the opportunity to voice their fears about the change, and the back to school stress they’re experiencing. Once they’ve shared their concerns, work with them to brainstorm solutions.
For example, if your child is worried about how he will perform in math class, create a plan to review concepts before school starts, or hire a tutor if extra help is needed.
If your child is nervous about making friends at a new school, invite some kids over for a play-date who already attend the new school. Knowing that their concerns can be alleviated will empower your kids to face change with more confidence.
Step 2: Explore and Visualize the Positive Aspects of the Change
Have your kids visualize the positive aspects of going back to school such as seeing old friends, learning new subjects, and taking special field trips.
Make a list together or create a vision board with your child about their “Year of Success” in school, and all the things they want to learn, enjoy, and accomplish.
Just like kids can use visualization to practice hitting a baseball, they can also use visualization to practice creating happiness and success in the classroom.
Girl with report card - iStock_000001664471Small
Step 3: Celebrate with a Fun Event to Honor the Change
Honoring the new school year with a celebration or special treat will mentally prepare your kids for the transition, while reducing back to school stress. And, it’s fun!
Whether hosting a “back to school party” with friends, shopping for a special backpack, or going out for a meaningful family dinner, a celebration or event (big or small) can help your child to embrace the new school year with a winning attitude.
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