Managing the Back to School Blues
With the school holidays winding up and the start of a new school term fast approaching, it can be a deflating time for both parents and their children, knowing their free time spent together is coming to an end. For some children, the thought of going back to school after the holiday period can be quite unsettling and can trigger a range of unhelpful emotions and a rise in anxiety. Unfortunately there are no quick fix solutions to alleviate the back to school blues entirely, but there are several tips parents can implement to help their child feel more at ease about going back to school.
Back to School Blues Management for Parents
1. Talk to your child and share your own experiences –
Find out what’s bothering your child about going back to school and try to find the positives out of these situations. Talking though your child’s worries and helping them to rationalise their fears can help to minimize their anxieties that are often left bottled up.
2. Encourage them to reconnect –
Remind your child of all the good things that they previously enjoyed about school and how good it will be to see all their friends again. You could suggest to have an end of holidays get together with their school friends the weekend before school goes back, to help them reconnect with their classmates so their first day back isn’t as daunting.
3. Get back into the routine –
A few days before school goes back, try and reintroduce some kind of structure into your child’s day, with earlier bedtime curfews and earlier morning wake-up calls to help make the transition back to the weekday school routine less of a shock to the system.
4. Help decrease their uncertainty –
Make a trip to the school with your child the weekend before school resumes and take a walk through the grounds with them. This will help to re-familiarise them with their school surroundings and reduce some of the anticipatory anxiety that is often built up about the first day back.
5. Encourage extra- curricular hobbies –
It may be helpful to spark their interest in joining a school sport or extra-curricular mid-week activity so that they have something to look forward to throughout the week.
6. Make a ‘special’ purchase just for school –
To increase your child’s enthusiasm about going back to school, sometimes it can be as simple as taking them shopping for a new school related item – like a backpack, a lunchbox, or some new school shoes that ‘all their friends’ are (supposedly) wearing. You may be surprised to find that doing something as small as this can make the world of difference to their confidence and give them that little extra added boost of excitement needed to start the new school term off on positive footing. to see the new school term off to a good start.
Our Recommended Therapist at Anxiety House…
Dr Angela Randell – Clinical Psychologist
What is your experience?
- Seven years’ experience with clients with anxiety and other mental health issues
- Senior Psychologist at Child and Youth Mental Health Service
- Worked in both public and private settings
- Inpatient and community treatment experience
- Clinical supervisor, STAP trained
- Child development researcher, and presenter at international conferences
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