School Stress Is More Than Just The Right Backpack

By August 14, 2016School

The last few weeks of summer are winding down and the beach toys are getting packed away.  Many parents are thinking about the craziness of back to school shopping and are ready to put our kids on the bus.

Check off the list of school supplies.  Then think about the tools your kids need to help with the social and emotional transition back to school. Some of our kids are becoming middle schoolers or high schoolers for the first time.  Remember how hard it was to get the locker combination to work?  Or how nerve-wracking it was to enter a new school? Sometimes we forget about the stress, anxiety, and stomach butterflies that this process provokes each fall for kids.

I encourage you to use these next few weeks to connect with your child before the chaos of sports and activity schedules begins. Take a minute to think about helping your child to emotionally prepare for this stressful time. Giving your kids an outlet for their feelings can make a big difference. Strike up a conversation in the car.  This is often less awkward for kids than a face to face sit down. Teach your kids ways to lower their stress.  Label the emotion they might be experiencing.  Practice taking ten deep breaths when faced with a trigger.  Use post it notes to create lists to reduce feelings of being overwhelmed.  Offer healthy snacks.  Set and enforce a reasonable bed time.  Limit screen time, especially social media.

Don’t be afraid to get professional help if things do not improve. Therapy can be a valuable experience for kids and adolescents to share their experiences with a neutral party.  It can also help them develop skills to help manage stressful events in the future.

To learn more about how to help your child transition back to school with ease this year, please visit

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