The start of the school year is nearly upon us! Whether the summer has flown by or dragged slowly, the back to school madness starts soon. As exciting as it can be, this time can also be challenging for parents and kids. With that in mind, let’s discuss some strategies to help make the adjustment as smooth as possible!
Changes in schedule and routine can be difficult to manage – as I’m sure everyone experienced at the beginning of the summer! One way to help combat the inevitable difficulty getting back into a routine is to start elements of the routine before they are needed. There are a lot of different ways to do this, including:
setting earlier morning alarms
going back to school shopping together
setting aside time for reading
having dinner earlier
going to bed earlier
driving to school to remember what the commute will be like
In each of these, kids will be able to adjust to multiple different routines over time instead of multiple different routines all at once. If there isn’t time to work on these ways, it can also be helpful to incorporate other things while at home. These can be:
setting up time to read together
having a countdown to the start of school
encouraging them to wake up earlier and complete tasks
going over how kids will get to and from school
asking kids how they feel about starting school again
These are things we can implement in the days and weeks leading up to the school year starting. After the school year starts, it is important to remember that this is a difficult transition for every member of the family. The kids will be adjusting, which will likely make them tired, irritable and challenging. Parents will be adjusting too, which will likely also make them tired, irritable and challenging. What is important to remember during these early weeks of the school year is to give everyone grace. It’s important to try to maintain patience and encourage each other to talk about the difficulties in the transition. Maybe grace means spending time together, spending time apart, having a particular favorite dinner, setting a new self-care routine, or establishing new routines to help everyone relax and recuperate.
Everyone is going to struggle with this time – it is a huge adjustment! Even if you’ve experienced this transition multiple times before, each school year is different. I encourage parents to remember that school can be tough and adjustments can cause difficulties. Try, as best as you can, to establish routines earlier than the start of the school year. Once the year has started, incorporating self-care and ways to maintain patience will be so helpful. Most importantly, give everyone a little break – parents will be tired and kids will be tired.
There are lots of other suggestions for the upcoming change! This blog and this blog have some great suggestions. This blog goes into detailed suggestions surrounding bullying. If there are struggles that seem difficult or bigger than the beginning of the year snags, I am here to help. I know how to help teenagers cope with their struggles more successfully as well as help them identify what issues may be causing these reactions.
I (Gillian) am the owner of Tavernier Therapy Group. I am a Licensed Professional Counselor, Certified Clinical Anxiety Treatment Provider and a Certified Sex Offender Treatment Provider. I work with teenagers who struggle to connect with their parents and am currently accepting clients! Take a look around my website and get to know me. I look forward to hearing from you!