Friday, August 12, 2011

Back to School Blues?

August marks the start of the school season and can be stressful for both kids and parents. Changes in routine, new sleep schedules, and coping with new people can be a challenge for kids and parents alike. Consider some of the following tips from the American Psychological Association:
1. Practice the first day of school routine: Getting into a sleep routine before the first week of school and organize lunches and bookbags the night before. Visit the school in advance to ease anxiety of the unknown.
2. Get to know your neighbors: If your child is starting a new school, walk around your block and get to know the neighborhood children
3. Talk to your child: Asking your children about their fears or worries about going back to school and also what they liked about their previous school or grade.
4. Empathize with your children: Nerves are normal, but highlight that not everything that is different is necessarily bad. Encourage your children to face their fears instead of falling in to the trap of encouraging avoidance.
Get involved and ask for help: Knowledge of the school and the community will better equip you to understand your child’s surroundings and the transition he or she is undergoing and seek expert advice from a mental health professional, such as a psychologist, if you are having trouble coping.


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