September is here and millions of students are officially back-to-school! Parents and children have been making some major adjustments to their daily routines that often come with a bit of stress and anxiety. Here are some tips on how to ease into the fall season seamlessly!
1) Mind Their Routine: it is time to reinstate the chores, study time, curfews and bedtimes that may have been relaxed during the summer. Parents should make sure that they are aware of their childâ€™s academic and extracurricular obligations and create boundaries around them that will facilitate their childâ€™s success. Depending on their age, consider including your child in the creation of these rules and boundaries to increase buy-in and compliance.
2) Mind Their Body: a strong mind begins with a strong body. The carefree eating of summer has come to an end. It is time to incorporate healthy food staples back into your entire familyâ€™s diet. This helps promote academic success and optimal physical development. The national â€œLetâ€™s Moveâ€ campaign offers some tips on how to improve your familyâ€™s overall diet.
3) Mind Their Mind: as your child adjusts to their new classroom, teacher, friends and school, make sure you regularly inquire about their experiences. Having routine conversations with your child about the things that matter to them creates a foundation of trust and feeling of safety within the family unit. Remember it is not your job to solve every problem for your child, but they should be comfortable discussing any of their problems with you. Key themes to keep an ear out for during your talks are:
- Evidence of bullying
- Self-esteem changes
- Mood fluctuations
- Self-destructive behaviors
The beginning of a new school year is exciting for both children and parents. It is imperative for parents to take a proactive role in ensuring success during this transition period. If your child demonstrates problems during this time that seem extreme or go on for an extended period of time, I encourage you to contact their school to set up an appointment to meet with your childâ€™s teacher and school counselor. They have a plethora of resources available to support you and child, as well as access to specialized community-based resources such as counselors and therapists if necessary. Congratulations in advance on having a wonderful school year!