Tips for a Stress-Free Start to the School Year

Tips for a Stress-Free Start to the School Year

We are in ‘count-down’ time now for the first day of school. Before we know it, kids will be loaded up with school supplies and headed back to elementary school, middle school, high school, even college. Students of all ages can have trouble transitioning from summertime fun to the school routine. Not only can school time be a tough adjustment for your child; you may be feeling stressed thinking about all the things you have to prepare to make the first day back a success. Here are some tips to help you and your student start this school year on the right foot. 

Order School Supplies Online: Dreading fighting the back to school crowds with your bunch? Waiting too long to get to your local store to fulfill your supply list may also mean you are picking through the remnants of their school-related stock.  Hop online ahead of time and see what deals you can find. Depending on the store, you may also be able to score free shipping or delivery.

Get plenty of sleep. Lack of sleep makes us more vulnerable to stress, and this goes for children as well as adults. It is time to break the summer habit of staying up late and sleeping in and re-establish a routine that will promote restorative sleep.

Have a game plan. A few days before school starts, revise the new school routine with your child. Establish simple, but clear, rules about what time to go to bed and what time to get up, the preparations, homework, so there are no surprises and less debate and disagreement about how things will work.

Reduce fear of the unknown and fear of change. Many students may be starting something completely new this year; a new bus stop, a new school building, new classmates.  Fear of the unknown often increases stress and insecurity. Take the time with your child to visit the new school, walk together to the new bus stop, and if possible, have him/her meet the new teachers to help alleviate their worries about the unknown. 

Keep It Positive: Children pick up on the emotions presented by their parents, good and bad.  Each school year represents an important and unique step of family life, why not keep an excited and positive attitude about it in front of your child? Even celebrate it, since it is a happy occasion! For instance, organize a special family dinner to acknowledge this merry event.

Use techniques that work to reduce stress. If you feel anxious, remember that there are several recognized techniques known to help manage stress: deep breathing, visualization, meditation, yoga, etc. Why not discover one or several of them and invite your child to come with you?