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Head Back to School With Less Stress

August 22, 2012 11:06 am
Written by: Odile Fredericks

The ride in to the first day of school is often fraught with anxiety, with kids and parents alike wondering what's lies ahead.

Experts say this nervousness about going back to school is common, but you can fight it it, mostly by staying calm yourself. In raising two children, I've discovered that's true; they tend to mirror whatever mood I'm in, absorbing anxiety like sponges.

Two experts with the Wake County Public School System—where kids on traditional calendar schedules will be returning to class Aug. 27—offer insightful tips for transitioning from summer to school. They advise talking with your children about your own positive school memories and encouraging them to tell their own stories. Letting children know you once faced a similar situation helps. You could also take your child on a tour of the school campus. Learn more tips for heading back to school with ease here.

As after-school activities resume, so does the stress of keeping track of practices and games. A time-management system that is efficient and easy to follow makes a world of difference, as one mom discovered, after vowing her child would never miss another important event because she'd forgotten about it. See her advice for smart family scheduling here.

Time is limited, however, and I'm a firm believer that overloading your child with after-school activities leads to stress for the entire family. Last school year, for example, my son and I ran ourselves ragged trying to keep up with practices, games and meets for two concurrent sports. This year, we've opted for one sport so that he has time to play with his friends in the neighborhood. Experts with the Lucy Daniel Center for Early Childhood Development  in Cary say that incorporating free time into a child's daily routine is as important for their emotional development as structured activities.

Now back to you. How do you stay calm amid all you have to do, from home to school and work? It's not always easy, but getting enough exercise, sleep and eating right helps, as does practicing mindfulness techniques. You'll find tips to practice self care and techniques to defuse job stress and in the Educational Supplement from Harvard Health Publications on helpguide.org.



The ride in to the first day of school is often fraught with anxiety, with kids and parents alike wondering what's lies ahead.

Experts say this nervousness about going back to school is common, but you can fight it it, mostly by staying calm yourself. In raising two children, I've discovered that's true; they tend to mirror whatever mood I'm in, absorbing anxiety like sponges.

Two experts with the Wake County Public School System—where kids on traditional calendar schedules will be returning to class Aug. 27—offer insightful tips for transitioning from summer to school. They advise talking with your children about your own positive school memories and encouraging them to tell their own stories. Letting children know you once faced a similar situation helps. You could also take your child on a tour of the school campus. Learn more tips for heading back to school with ease here.

As after-school activities resume, so does the stress of keeping track of practices and games. A time-management system that is efficient and easy to follow makes a world of difference, as one mom discovered, after vowing her child would never miss another important event because she'd forgotten about it. See her advice for smart family scheduling here.

Time is limited, however, and I'm a firm believer that overloading your child with after-school activities leads to stress for the entire family. Last school year, for example, my son and I ran ourselves ragged trying to keep up with practices, games and meets for two concurrent sports. This year, we've opted for one sport so that he has time to play with his friends in the neighborhood. Experts with the Lucy Daniel Center for Early Childhood Development  in Cary say that incorporating free time into a child's daily routine is as important for their emotional development as structured activities.

Now back to you. How do you stay calm amid all you have to do, from home to school and work? It's not always easy, but getting enough exercise, sleep and eating right helps, as does practicing mindfulness techniques. You'll find tips to practice self care and techniques to defuse job stress and in the Educational Supplement from Harvard Health Publications on helpguide.org.


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