It’s back to school time. The worry of getting the right teacher and knowing who else will be in that class. The stress of finding the right supplies. The pressure of buying clothes and shoes that are perfect. It can all be enough to incite an anxiety attack. This doesn’t even begin to cover how the kids are feeling!
By the end of summer, parents claim they are ready for school to start. They probably are! Yet, all joking aside, it does come with its own set of challenges. A change in routine, breaking the late-night habits for the early morning rises, and the return of the lunch box. No one enjoys that part.
Here are some tips to help you calm the anxiety (yours and your child’s) and get ready for school.
1. Ease into the Routine
Your goal the last week of summer should be to wear your kids out! Keep them busy and active. When bedtime rolls around (and not summer bedtime), they will be exhausted. This is a great way to get everyone adjusted back to a normal bedtime routine, regardless of age.
2. Stop Worrying
This is always easier said than done! Your kids are going to do fine. They always do. The little ones will eventually stop crying, make friends, and have a blast. The big ones will navigate on their own, too. Even if their best friend is in a different classroom, they didn’t get the teacher they wanted, or you didn’t buy the right shoes, they will figure it out and survive. Everything will be OK.
3. Let Your Kids Help
All of the school prep doesn’t need to fall on your shoulders. We often don’t give our kids enough credit. At any age, there are tasks appropriate for delegation. Laying out school clothes for the week, prepping lunchboxes the night before, getting shoes lined up by the door, and especially cleaning up after themselves. As parents, we feel the pressure for perfection. Sometimes it’s just easier to do things ourselves. Not only does that cause anxiety for us, but it doesn’t set our kids up for success. They need to be able to fend for themselves and this is one way to get them ready.
4. Talk to Your Kids
When you stress, they stress. It’s important they have an outlet to discuss their concerns and worries in a safe space with no judgement. Share that you are also stressed but be sure to express your confidence in their ability to work through it. Give them tips and tools to help. Things in life don’t always come easy or go as planned. Get them ready to roll with the punches and make the best of it.
5. Just Breathe
Everything is temporary. This moment will soon pass, and the next worry will come right behind it. Such is parenting. Try your best to relax and breathe through it. Someday you will look back and miss these moments.
Put these tips into action and you will all have a great start to the school year.