August 1st, 2010 | 8 Comments

Back-to-School Tips

by Lori Lite/Founder of Stress Free Kids

I wish I had a few back to school tips when I was bringing me crying child to school…

My kid was a clinger and did not want to go to school.  She held my leg  tightly and screamed so loudly I wanted to cry.  So I did what every stressed out and embarrassed mom would do…

Back to school stress took such a hold on me that I actually told my daughter’s teacher that she had a fever and we should reschedule.  I lied to my daughter’s kindergarten teacher on the first day of school. Seventeen years later I am happy to report that my little girl is now a college graduate with a terrific job and living in her own apartment. I have learned a few tricks since that day. Below are a few of Stress Free Kids tips for creating a back to school moment that is stress free.

  • Accept the fact that all ages will be cranky for the first 2 weeks. Keep demands and schedules as light as possible until you and your child adjust to the new schedule.
  • Never let your children hear you speak negatively about their teacher. Be positive and remember that a teacher that did not work out for your neighbor’s kid, may be your child’s favorite teacher.
  • Work through your own anxious feelings about back-to-school. Children pick up on spoken and unspoken anxiety. The more relaxed you are about school the more relaxed your kids will be.
  • Prepare ahead of time. Donate clothes that no longer fit your child and get rid of mismatched socks. You will appreciate never hearing your kids yelling, “Mom, I can’t find my other sock.”
  • Decide where your child’s study space or homework area will be. Clear out the clutter and let them make it their own by adding a decorating touch that they select or create. Making or buying a purple pencil holder decorated with stickers can transform their space and attitude. 
  • Introduce your child to at least one or two other children that will be in their class. Meet for lunch. I  find Chuck-E-Cheese to be a great place to break the ice. It helps kids build memories and gives them something to talk about at school.
  • Put your family on a routine and emphasize sleep.  For bedtime, focus on relaxation and sleep will follow.
  • Make sure your child’s emotional backpack is filled with self-esteem building tools and relaxation techniques. Deep breathing, positive statements, and visualizing doing well at school can make a difference. Indigo Dreams CDs teach all of these techniques for children and teens.
  • Acknowledge that change; be it positive or negative creates stress. Children are especially sensitive to change. A little awareness coupled with creativity and compassion can make your back-to-school days…. stress free.

Stress Free Kids founder Lori Lite has created a line of books and CDs designed to help children, teens, and adults decrease stress, anxiety, and anger. Ms. Lite’s books, CDs, and lesson plans are considered a resource for parents, psychologists, therapists, child life specialists, teachers, and yoga instructors. Lori is a certified children’s meditation facilitator and Sears’ Manage My Life parenting expert. For more information visit  Stress Free Kids and for daily advice follow Lori onTwitter and Facebook.

Parenting.com featured one of Lori’s tips in their article, 16 Ways to Prep for School Separation Anxiety .

 

Children can fall asleep quicker and more peacefully by listening to any of the CDs in the Indigo Dreams Series to include our new music CDs Indigo Dreams: Kids Relaxation Music or Indigo Dreams: Rainforest Relaxation.

Please share with others

    Comments

    8 Comments on “Back-to-School Tips”

    • I agree wholeheartedly about kids picking up anxiety from parents. I’ve had a lot of experience with nursery, toddlers, and prek coming to care for the first time. When I’ve had a really stressed out kid, it was always the parent making them stressed. You could tell the parent was anxious or worried about how well the child would do, would she be happy or scared, would anyone be mean to her, would she get hurt, would she think she was being abandoned, etc. I wanted to shake the parents and tell them to snap out of it and leave! :) I’ve actually had to speak to a couple of parents because they were terrifying their own kids about the change.

      If the parent thinks it’s no big deal, or even exciting…the kid will pick up on it. If parents look at the change as an exciting new thing for the child to experience, celebrate it rather than worry about it, it makes all the difference with the kids!

      Great Post!

    • Thanks Veronica! There is nothing like an observation from a teacher..I hope lots of parents will read your comment.

    • What a testimony you are Veronica. Thank you for sharing your first hand wisdom!!!!

    • I fully agree with you if the parents are stressed they tend not to be so kind as usuall which takes away part of the childs support (I think / opinion)

    • Yes, and stress is contagious….so important not to impose our own fears and emotions on our children

    • We “practice” getting ready for school every day for about a week before school starts. Then we go on an “adventure” (to get school supplies, to pick out lunch foods, after school snacks, to the library, we drive the bus route, etc”) then come home and talk about the most fun part. It helps channel the anxiety into excitement!

    • Love how you channel anxiety into excitement. Wonderful tip!

    • Hi Lori thanks for the great tips!
      Yes our stress definitely affects our kids On top of their own worry’s they carry around! We work on calming excercises and draw different scenes of going back to school!
      I personally dislike the back-to-school time although my child loves going to school:)
      For me the stress is always Trying to make sure my kid can still be a kid with all the Homework and so mich less time to have fun and play.
      And I always hope the teacher style is going to work well with my child’s personality as the teacher will make or break the year!
      I’m hoping this year will be a good one as the teacher has the same name as me(lol)

    Leave a Reply