Reduce Back to School Stress
Posted by Jen Kent on August 12, 2013.
After a summer of fun and less responsibilities, going back to school can be very stressful to your children. Adding a little structure back in their schedules at home can decrease stress levels and prepare them for a successful school year. Teaching your children responsibility and organizational skills at home will also have a positive effect in their school year. Below are some simple solutions that can help your child start the school year off on the right foot.
- Get enough sleep! Children have difficulty focusing when they are tired.
- Eat healthy, balanced meals. A proper diet can make a huge difference in a child’s ability to concentrate.
- Schedule downtime. Families with multiple kids participating in numerous activities can mean a lot of time spent on the run, causing added stress and fatigue. Children need designated downtime at home to recharge.
Adding structure and routine at home to a child’s day will actually decrease stress levels at school. When children learn early how to structure their day and learn to be accountable for themselves, they will be more likely to utilize their time at school better. Below are steps you can take to add this needed structure.
- Establish clear household rules and expectations with corresponding consequences and rewards. Sit with your child and discuss your household rules. Post them somewhere they can see them. Set a time and quiet place for homework to be done.
- BE CONSISTANT! It takes time to create a habit. If you alter how you handle a situation each time it arises children can become confused.
- Use a reward chart or behavior system. Just as adults are more productive when they use a checklist or to do list to help organize their day, kids need a visual to help remind them of the daily tasks that they are responsible for completing.
Kenson Kids’ On Track! Responsibility and Behavior System is recommended for school aged children and gives parents the tools to teach children valuable life lessons for success in school and in life. The system provides instructions on how to create household rules and master chore lists, as well as daily checklists, a behavior contract, self-reflection sheets and a weekly reward system. It makes expectations clear and provides an easy way to track success and award children accordingly. It also includes a 16 page booklet with suggestions and guidelines to help parents implement the system.
Children who feel good about themselves will have confidence to complete work easier and have better social skills which will enhance their school experience. Below are tips to increase self- esteem and teach decision making skills which will promote a positive school experience.
- Listen to your child. Talk with your child. Spend time learning about their day. Ask them their opinion about issues that my come up. Incorporating their ideas where you can will increase their sense of independence and self-worth.
- Praise them often. Children want to please their parents. Praising their efforts will increase their self-esteem and motivate them to be the best they can be.
- Turn mistakes into teaching moments. Ultimately everyone makes mistakes. Talking with your child and discussing how the behavior affected them and others as well as other options they had will teach them important decision making skills.
At the end of the day, you are still the most important influence in your child’s life. Setting a good example, teaching them responsibility at home, getting involved at school and being there for them will decrease stress levels and increase their chances at success at school and in life.