It’s that time of year again! September is looming (where has the summer gone?) and that means we’re diving right into ‘Back to School’ season. It can be exciting (new books, new clothes, back to routine) and it can also be STRESSFUL (the cost of the new books & new clothes, getting back to routine). And not just for the student. If you have school age kids you know that it affects the whole family.
The transition of going from one grade to another, having a new teacher, the possibility of being in a different class from friends, bullying, social pressure and social media can all be super stressful for kids. Never mind having to get up in the morning and go to bed earlier in the evening.
Here are a couple of tips for parents to help ease the stress of the transition for your kids (and yourself).
1. If you’re enthusiastic and positive about it, that energy will rub off on your kids. Model the behavior that you want to see.
2. Check in with your kids to see if there is something specific that they are worried about, not looking forward to or that’s causing them stress. Talk about it. Let your child know that you’ll be there to help and that ‘Team Family’ has their back.
3. Celebrate. Plan a special meal the night before school starts or a special breakfast on the first day.
4. Get back on schedule before school starts. Decide on bedtimes and morning wake up times, the time they have to be out the door and on their way. And then practice for a few days before school starts so they (and you) can ease into the new routine.
5. Get Organized! The start of a new school year can be absolute chaos … school, activities, chores…the list goes on and on. It’s stressful for kids but it is also very stressful for the adults who have to make sure everything is done, each kid is where they should be at the right time, lunches prepared, homework done, and don’t forget about the house work that is waiting for you. Do yourself a favor and decide ahead of time all of the To Do’s, who will be responsible for what and when.
A big family calendar (make it visual for greatest impact) will be your best friend. It will let everyone know where they are supposed to be, what they need to do, etc. A Whiteboard will work wonders to help you get organized…and you can make changes and add things easily. So no surprises, nothing forgotten and no kid left behind. 🙂
As a side note…I found this idea on the realsimple.com website and I love it!
‘Make time for PDF’.
PDF stands for Playtime (unstructured), Downtime (sleep, rest, transition time) and Family time (dinners together, & fun).
As we all know, whether it’s work activities, a couples date night or PDF…if it’s not on the calendar it doesn’t happen. So schedule it in and plan for it. This in itself will take a whole lot of the stress out of back to school for everyone!
Here’s a personal tip from my experience. When I was about 10 years old I really started to get stressed about exams. The stress would be at it’s worst at bedtime. My Mother in her wisdom gave me the greatest gift ever and one that I still use today.
My Mom would sit on the side of my bed when I was all tucked in for the night and she taught me Progressive Muscle Relaxation. She didn’t call it that but she took me through the process over and over again so I could learn it and learn how to relax.
I thought she invented it! 🙂 But she didn’t. It is one of the most well known and effective stress management techniques that’s been around for years.
It’s pretty cool making the realization that my Mom taught me how to manage stress all those years ago and now in my business, I teach this and other stress management techniques to as many people as I can to help lessen stress and make lives better.
And so my final recommendation is to teach your kids how to manage stress.
It will be a gift they will use forever as they gain control over stress and live better, healthier lives. As a parent, you can make a huge difference in your child’s life with this.
If you don’t know any stress management techniques…do yourself a favor and learn some. Change your life and then share the info with your kids.
I’ve got a free technique just waiting for you! It’s on the homepage of my website www.penneymurphy.com.
Look for ‘The Absolute Best, Easiest & Most Effective Stress Management Technique Ever!’ Enter your name and email address and you’ll receive it free in a PDF document sent directly to your inbox. My gift to you.
I’m also offering a new workshop called ‘Doing Stress Better: A New Approach” where I’ll teach you a 3 step model so you can make stress work FOR you instead of against you. It’s awesome, easy to learn and very powerful.
It’s on Thursday night, Sept 12th from 7 pm – 9 pm. The cost is $125.00 + g.s.t.
Currently there are 7 spots left so don’t wait! Register by email to firstname.lastname@example.org or call our office at (306) 242-1010.
I know. I know. You’re saying to yourself…’but September is so busy with back to school, etc., etc.’
So put it on your calendar. It’s 2 hours of your life and you won’t regret it. The return on your investment into managing your stress will be amazing. And you’ll be able to teach your kids some excellent techniques. It’s a win win. I hope you’ll join me. I’ll do my very best to make it an incredible and valuable experience for you.
Cheers to less stress and an exciting start to the new school year,