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Tips to Reduce Back to School Stress

Updated: Mar 29, 2023

When the kids go to school it can be stressful, for the entire family. Especially, if it’s a “first.” It doesn’t matter if it’s

  • Daycare

  • Kindergarten

  • Highschool

  • College

Firsts can be difficult.

We are on the sidelines of our granddaughter going to high school in a new school district this year. I was stressed out, watching her struggle to deal with the news. Of course, we all know, it will likely be fine, but those unknowns can be unsettling.

Jim and I have had our fair share of firsts in our lives, with two boys, and it hasn’t all been around back to school. Learning to drive takes things to a whole ‘nother level. But, that’s a newsblog for another time. For this month, I’d like to offer some insight into some ways you might #stressless as a parent and help your child to do the same.

For the student:

Respect their feelings.

  • Let them feel

  • Encourage them to share with you

  • Listen while they talk

  • Kindly guide them through those feelings

Don’t tell them they are being silly (even if they are), or not to worry, and definitely don’t insult them with teasing names. Acknowledge their feelings and walk with them on a journey to the other side.

Set expectations.

Of course every family has their own set of expectations. Personally, I wouldn’t go too hard on a “first” experience. Maybe give it a couple weeks until your child gets the lay of the land, then set some guidelines in place. You can definitely set some standard expectations around:

  • Bedtime

  • Homework

  • Have a set workspace

  • Afterschool activities

  • Wake up time

  • Morning routine

For the parents:

Address your own feelings.

If you are struggling with feelings of stress, worry, anxiety, or depression find a trusted person to talk to about them. Getting them out of your head and dealing with them is much better than pretending they don’t exist.

Pick your battles

As your children get older it may be more important to monitor what they wear, but if your kindergarteners clothes don’t match… who cares, at least they dressed themselves, right?

Set up routines

  • Will your kids have a snack after school?

  • Play outside before doing homework or are you a “work before play” person?

  • Pick out clothes the night before

  • Pack up bookbags and have them by the door, before they go to bed. If they are packing a lunch, toss that in in the morning.

Don’t be wishy washy… think before you state, but once said, stand by it.

Remember, stress can feed off other’s stress. You feel it from your children, and they feel it from you. Take a deep breath and face it calmly together. Have a wonderful school year!

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