(KUTV) Families will begin to turn their attention to the start of a new school year. This can be a cause of stress for many kids and parents. It means spending a lot of money on school supplies, registration fees, new clothes, etc. It can also bring on additional stressors for kids to perform academically, stack up socially, and be part of a popular friend group.
Here are some things to consider and tips to solve issues that arise:
- Get on top of the schedule: not only are kids getting up earlier, but after school lessons and sports are in full swing. Write out a schedule in the AM for kids and be cautious of overloading kids after school.
- Consider the sources of stress: Kids who exhibit stress and anxiety should be able to express the problem. For younger young children separation anxiety can be a difficult stressor. Listen to your child if they are complaining about not wanting to go to school or having difficulty with their work, or telling you they have a tummy ache. Discuss your child’s day with them after school or during dinner. Start the “highs” and the “lows” for the day. Problem-solve together.
- Prioritize process over results: Parents tend to focus on academic performance. We are “graded” as young kids and it continues through our adult life. In fact, there is so much focus on grades, standardized test score and GPA’s that some kids are completely overwhelmed. Consider the “journey” …learning good study habits, making good friends, staying organized are all life skills kids need to learn.
- Down time before bed: Kids need an hour to wind down going from full speed ahead to sleep. This mean turning off electronics and replacing them with some kind of activity. Reading to them, bath time, meditation/relaxation, or getting organized for the next day.
Manage your own stress:
- Plan ahead for the week (meals, shopping, activities).
- Create a homework contract so expectations are clear of when and where it will be done.
- Guide rather than direct.
- Get kids to bed.
- Make time for “PDF”: Playtime/Downtime/Family time