How to get rid of Back-to-School Blues
August 28, 2014  |  Written by Carlota Nelson

Whether it´s going to school for the very first time, beginning a new grade or starting at a new school, changes can cause anxiety, even if they are highly anticipated.  This is not only true for children but for parents as well. Adults must also adapt to the new school year. But with a good attitude and a bit or preparation, you´ll learn to experience this transition as something positive. Keep reading to learn how you and your family can have a great back to school this year.

Control your anxiety. It´s best if your children not witness how nervous or anxious the new school year makes you feel. If they listen to you complain about returning to work or getting back into the routine, it´s very probable they´ll repeat your same words. If there is something we should never cease to forget is that we are the mirror in which our children see themselves. So, try keeping calm and positive.

The Best Attitude. Ideally, speak enthusiastically with your children about the new school year (everything they will learn, old friends they´ll be able to play with, new friends they´ll meet, what classes they think they´ll enjoy the most, what will their new teacher be like…) and listen to what they say and be aware of how they feel. If there´s something giving them the blues, talk to them.

Sharing Experiences. Children love to hear stories about when their parents were young. The way in which you confronted your first day at school, as long as it was positive, will help them manage their own transition. If they´re nervous, try empathizing. “It´s OK to feel nervous. I felt the same when I started school. But it went away when….” Or: “When I feel nervous, I like to remember all the good things. “

The Good Times. Before school starts, take turns remembering everything you did this summer. Which were your favourite moments, the funniest, what you learned, who you met, what new situations did you experience… Helping them to think positive and remembering the good times will help them realize everything they can talk about and share at school. Encourage them to make a photo album of the best summer moments.


Establish Routines. To avoid the stress of the first days back to school, it´s best to establish routines at least one week before. Try waking them up a little earlier each day and why not get them into reading again or spending time doing things that will stimulate their learning? Little by little, change your schedules and bedtime so you´re all prepared for school.


Shopping. Like each school year, there will be books and new supplies to buy. This is a great opportunity to underline how fun this year will be. If it´s the first time they´ll have to take a compass to class or a case where to put their pencils, sharpeners and erasers in for example, make them see how they´ve grown and all the things they´ll learn this year.

Instead of deciding for them, invite your children to think of the things they´ll need and encourage them to write the list. If they need a new backpack, let them choose it. Back at home, you can organize a fun afternoon organizing a place to keep their things. The more they participate, the better they will feel. Plus, you´ll be teaching them how to become responsible.

Special Space. At home, be sure to create a special space for them to work and help them organize their supplies. Make sure they have everything they need. Once school starts, children can feel overwhelmed by all the new stimuli and challenges. If they have a place and know where everything is, they´ll be better prepared.

Count Down. Together you can create a count down calendar. Every day they´ll be able to remove a page and prepare for the next. If possible, at least for the first few days, try being at home when they return from school or pick them up. Talk to them about the extra curricular activities they´d love to take part in and help them decide which ones will work best. But remember, children need time to play, do their homework and time to be at home with their family.

What advice would you give to other parents before the new school year? Your opinion is important to us.

Photo Credits: Ryan McCullah

Photo Credits: Leland Francisco



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