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How to Manage Back to School Stress
Students and teachers will be heading back to the classroom soon. For some, school starts in the next week or two; for others, next month. No matter what date you have circled on your calendar, going back to school is stressful.
This week we’re going to look at ways to make the transition back to school less stressful for your children, their teachers, and for you.
The start of a new school year means change, and change comes with unknowns, and unknowns make us anxious.
- Will my children like their teachers?
- Will their teachers like them?
- Will their teachers do a good job?
- Will my children do well academically?
- Will they do well socially?
- Will they make the team?
- Will they be happy?
- Will they have too many extra activities?
- Will they be able to get enough sleep?
- Will they eat well, do well . . . will they succeed?
- Will my students like me?
- Will my students respect me?
- How many authority challengers will I have in my class?
- How many learning challenged students will I have?
- Will this year’s staff be helpful and supportive?
- Will I have enough time to get everything done?
- Will my family suffer as I try to do it all?
- Will I be an effective motivator?
Students ask themselves:
- Will I have friends?
- Will kids like me?
- Will my teachers like me?
- Will I be smart enough?
- Will kids be mean to me?
- Will kids make fun of me?
- Will I get lost?
- How much homework will I have?
- Will I like school this year?
So many questions. It’s a stress-filled time for everyone, but there are ways to make it less stressful.
I’m a parent, and I’ve also been a student and a teacher. So, this week I’d like to share some advice and give you some simple things you can do to make the transition back to school less stressful and more enjoyable for everyone.
Today, let’s look at a few general helps and the rest of the week we will get more specific….
General Back to School Helps
1. Talk About School Positively – It’s fine to say you’ll miss the extra time you’ve enjoyed this summer and remind everyone of the fun activities you’ve shared; but as you do remind yourself and your child of the things you enjoy about the school year, too. Talk about sporting events and concerts, seeing their friends everyday, and the new things you will learn together.
2. Make Getting School Supplies Fun - Plan a time when you can be relaxed. If possible take each child by themselves and go out for lunch or ice cream after you’re done shopping. Then talk about what they’re looking forward to this year and what makes them anxious.
3. Start Organizing – Teachers are busy planning, organizing, and preparing . . . parents and students can do the same. Start planning your family schedule, meals, homework space, and a central information station to keep papers and schedules organized.
4. PRAY – Start today. Pray for your child, their friends, and their teachers. Pray that each will be kind and patient. Pray for health and protection. Pray for an atmosphere for learning. Pray that the Lord bless the year ahead.
Teach me your ways, O Lord, that I may live according to your truth! Grant me purity of heart, so that I may honor you. Psalm 86:11