School can put a strain on kids (and parents too!). And while stress is an inevitable part of life, there are things you can do to help reduce it and make the school year a smooth one.
Accentuate the positive, all year long. Start talking about school a few weeks before it starts to get kids excited. Throughout the year, remind kids about things they enjoy and look forward to—fun after-school activities, being with friends, seeing favorite teachers—highlight the fun side of school!
Routines help reduce anxiety because they let kids know what to expect. A few weeks before school starts, try to get the kids back into a regular schedule for sleep and mealtimes—and keep it going through the year, even on weekends.
School lunches are part of the routine, and kids want to have a say about whether to buy in the cafeteria or pack at home. Ask their preference, and if they choose to pack, plan some lunches together. Stock up on the right items, and be sure to agree on who will make lunches and when.
Physical activity and community team sports are great ways to relieve stress. Being active can help improve your child’s focus in the classroom and his academic performance at school. Plus, being part of a team gives kids the opportunity to learn teamwork, meet others who enjoy the same activity and make new friends, many of whom may go to their school!