Custom CSS of Section contains Conditional Preview for See Life Campaign Elements

Back-to-School Blues

Share:
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest
Share on print
Share on email
Illustration of a teen hitting the snooze button
Nathalie Dion

Parents can help their kids who dread the new school year.

Nick, who is about to enter his senior year in high school, hates the prospect of returning to the school routine. He dislikes getting up early after sleeping late all summer long. But what bothers him most is the return to a structured routine that defines how he is expected to learn. Nick’s main concern is an academic one.

Nick’s youngest sister, Bree, is about to enter middle school, and she’s apprehensive about what kind of work will be expected of her in this new environment. So she also has some academic concerns. But Bree’s main worry is that she won’t know many kids and will have to deal with people she doesn’t like. Bree’s concern is mostly a social one.

There are many reasons why children may not be excited about returning to school. Each child’s learning style, academic needs, social and emotional development, and prior school experiences contribute to how he or she views the arrival of another school year. Kids may be concerned about getting a teacher they don’t want. If they’ve struggled in the past, the prospect of another school year filled with struggle may be foremost in their mind.

For kids, transition is often tainted with trepidation, and the transition from summertime to the school routine is no exception. Children adjust to change according to their own temperaments and levels of resiliency. Parents, however, can play a major role in how well kids adjust to change. Following are a few insights that can help you equip your child to face this back-to-school season.

Acknowledge the change

Going back to school is really more than just a one day event. This type of transition is about the forming of a new habit. Brain researchers agree that the forming of a new habit also includes the breaking of an old one. Getting up early after three months of sleeping late requires both the dismantling of the old sleep pattern and the creation of the new pattern. A consistent bedtime and rise time will build more structure back into Nick’s schedule, and this new habit will help him to embrace routine as he anticipates the structured environment of a traditional school day.

Habits are patterns of behavior built on prior experiences. How a child responds to a difficult teacher, a difficult classmate or a difficult learning experience is often a habitual response. If your child has had a challenging or traumatic experience at school, it’s crucial that you acknowledge this issue and help your child separate the past from the present. Help your child understand that hurtful memories need not define her view of current experiences. Just because Bree felt ill-equipped to deal with difficult personalities last year doesn’t mean she can’t learn how to deal with them this year. Stressful classroom situations are opportunities for our children to practice — with our support and supervision — the life skills needed to get along in this world. School is a great place to prepare for life! 

Help with the habits

 Since habits are patterns that create connections and pathways in the brain, those pathways exist even if we stop accessing them. That’s why we sometimes relapse after abstaining from an old habit for a long time. Your child is no different. Here are some suggestions to help your child build new habits for the school year:

Plan for change. Together with your child, identify in writing the habit of behavior or habit of mind that needs adjustment. Then write down some specific steps your child can take, with your support, to move toward a more positive habit of behavior or mind. For example, if Nick needs to create a new habit of getting up early for the school year, what steps can he take that will lead toward that new habit? If Bree is apprehensive about dealing with kids she doesn’t like, what actions or ways of thinking can she adopt to develop a more positive response toward people she has issues with?

Deal with one habit at a time. Even if you and your child have a laundry list of concerns about the new school year, choose to work on only one at a time. Instead of your child saying, “I am going to get up one hour earlier, do my homework as soon as I get home each day and introduce myself to one new person each week,” redirect her to focus on one of those goals: “I am going to get up one hour earlier each morning.” How do you decide which new habit to focus on first? Consider which one is keeping your child from feeling positive about going back to school.

Take small steps. Too large of steps can be difficult to manage. Break down the task necessary for your child to succeed. Instead of him saying, “I will do my homework every day as soon as I come home,” encourage him to say, “I will start my homework within an hour of coming home.” Help your child aim for success.

Repeat the desired behavior. When building a new habit, frequency is key. Help your child understand that the more often he repeats a behavior, the stronger the connections in his brain will become. Encourage your child to stay focused and committed to his new way of thinking or acting.

Your child may be a preschooler who’s anxious about starting school for the very first time, or he may be a high-school senior who already knows that going back to class is not an easy adjustment. Regardless of your child’s age, you can help him through this transition by offering support and creating strategies for success. Addressing your child’s most basic concerns goes a long way in equipping him to face the school year with confidence.

Combat back-to-school worries

Helping your child build resiliency is the best way to combat many of the concerns she may have about school. You may not be able to deal specifically with every circumstance, but you can foster a more resilient attitude in your child:

Maintain a daily routine. Children crave structure and feel safer with routine. A home that has less structure may cause anxiety for children as they struggle with the more rigid environment at school. Routine at home can also foster more positive and effective homework habits.

Teach your child self-care. Kids don’t inherently know how to add balance to their lives, so a parent modeling self-care is essential. Look for opportunities to model balance in recreation, responsibilities and personal pursuits.

Nurture a positive self-view. Sometimes it’s hard to recall and focus on previous successes when we are struggling with a sense of failure. Remind your child of previous times in her life when she made good decisions, when she handled a difficult situation or person with grace or when she mastered something difficult. Help her learn to laugh at herself, reminding her that a positive attitude helps create a positive home and school environment.

Vicki Caruana is an educator and the best-selling author of Giving Your Child the Excellence Edge and Standing Up for Your Child Without Stepping on Toes.

Dynamic CTA Template Below

Your Teen Needs You Most of All

No parent of teens is perfect and even the best can learn how to better connect with their son or daughter. Get practical action steps to better connect with your teenager in 8 Essential Tips for Parenting Your Teen in this FREE video series!

There Is Still Hope for Your Marriage

You may feel that there is no hope for your marriage and the hurt is too deep to restore the relationship and love that you once had. The truth is, your life and marriage can be better and stronger than it was before. In fact, thousands of marriages, situations as complex and painful as yours, have been transformed with the help of professionals who understand where you are right now and care deeply about you and your spouse’s future. You can restore and rebuild your marriage through a personalized, faith-based, intimate program called, Hope Restored.

There Is Still Hope for Your Marriage

You may feel that there is no hope for your marriage and the hurt is too deep to restore the relationship and love that you once had. The truth is, your life and marriage can be better and stronger than it was before. In fact, thousands of marriages, situations as complex and painful as yours, have been transformed with the help of professionals who understand where you are right now and care deeply about you and your spouse’s future. You can restore and rebuild your marriage through a personalized, faith-based, intimate program called, Hope Restored.

There Is Still Hope for Your Marriage

You may feel that there is no hope for your marriage and the hurt is too deep to restore the relationship and love that you once had. The truth is, your life and marriage can be better and stronger than it was before. In fact, thousands of marriages, situations as complex and painful as yours, have been transformed with the help of professionals who understand where you are right now and care deeply about you and your spouse’s future. You can restore and rebuild your marriage through a personalized, faith-based, intimate program called, Hope Restored.
Emerson-Eggerich4-840w

Understand How to Respect and Love your Son Well

Why doesn’t my son listen to me? Have you ever asked that question? The truth is, how you see your son and talk to him has a significant effect on how he thinks and acts. That’s why we want to help you. In fact, we’ve created a free five-part video series called “Recognizing Your Son’s Need for Respect” that will help you understand how showing respect, rather than shaming and badgering, will serve to motivate and guide your son.

Reconnected: The Digital Experience

Is the love there, but not the spark? Reawaken fun in your marriage and move from roommates to soulmates again with the help of this 7-part online video experience. Learn how to connect emotionally and spiritually as husband and wife using techniques such as dreaming together and establishing deep, heartfelt communication. The Digital Experience includes 7 teaching videos, an online study guide and access to additional tools and resources to help spouses reconnect.

Next Steps: Marriage Assessment

We want your marriage to be thriving and healthy. Take the free Marriage Assessment from Focus on the Family to learn how to strengthen your bond with your spouse and get the tools to help you need to grow closer together. 

Next Steps: Fruit of the Spirit Devotionals for Couples

The Fruit of the Spirit Devotional is a free series of nine short videos to get you into God’s Word and inspire you to seek the Holy Spirit’s help in loving your spouse.

Share:
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest
Share on print
Share on email

About the Author

Read More About:

You May Also Like

Boundaries

Do Your Kids Have Healthy Phone Habits?

Our kids’ mental health has nearly been narrowed down to two words: Likes and Followers. Learn how to approach habits for your kids and phones.

Play Video

Newest Release - Episode 5: It’s Going to be Amazing!

After a couple has chosen life, hear the heartwarming stories of children that culture would have cast aside, yet are making tremendous impacts in their communities. Whether the diagnosis was adverse or the circumstances were difficult, these stories will inspire you to come along side of families who have chosen life!

Yes, I Promise to Pray for the Pre-born and Their Moms!

Will you pray for the pre-born and moms that are facing unexpected pregnancies? We will send you a 7-day prayer guide that will help guide you along this journey with us!! You can even choose to receive this great resource by text!

Play Video

Newest Release - Episode 4: Sometimes the Choice is Hard

Hear real life stories of parents who have made the decision to choose life even though the circumstances were overwhelming. You’ll see why “ALL” life is precious to God and why choosing life is always the right decision!

Yes, I Promise to Pray for the Pre-born and Their Moms!

Will you pray for the pre-born and moms that are facing unexpected pregnancies? We will send you a 7-day prayer guide that will help guide you along this journey with us!! You can even choose to receive this great resource by text!

Play Video

Newest Release - Episode 6: Families Helping Families!

So, after all you’ve seen through the SeeLife ‘21 Episodic journey; what can you do now? We’ll share how you can partner with some amazing organizations that are making significant impacts in the pro-life movement! You want to Celebrate Life!

Yes, I Promise to Pray for the Pre-born and Their Moms!

Will you pray for the pre-born and moms that are facing unexpected pregnancies? We will send you a 7-day prayer guide that will help guide you along this journey with us!! You can even choose to receive this great resource by text!

Play Video

Newest Release - Episode 3: The Power of a Picture

Have you ever wondered what a baby looked like in the womb? With today’s technology, Moms and Dads can see the baby’s heartbeat, facial expressions, and movements! You’ll find out why more women choose life once they hear their baby’s heartbeat and realize it’s a real living human!

Yes, I Promise to Pray for the Pre-born and Their Moms!

Will you pray for the pre-born and moms that are facing unexpected pregnancies? We will send you a 7-day prayer guide that will help guide you along this journey with us!! You can even choose to receive this great resource by text!

Play Video

Newest Release - Episode 2: Heroes Providing Hope

Discover the amazing work our PRC’s Directors, Nurses, and Volunteers are making in their communities! You’ll see firsthand testimonies of a PRC in action, and that there are other options outside of abortions! You’ll also discover how your family can support your local PRC!

Yes, I Promise to Pray for the Pre-born and Their Moms!

Will you pray for the pre-born and moms that are facing unexpected pregnancies? We will send you a 7-day prayer guide that will help guide you along this journey with us!! You can even choose to receive this great resource by text!

Play Video

Newest Release - Episode 1: The Truth About Life!

In this episode, we will tackle tough questions like, “When does life begin?” and “What does the Bible
say about Life?” You’ll discover and understand the stages of pre-born life and that babies are more than
just a clump of cells!

Yes, I Promise to Pray for the Pre-born and Their Moms!

Will you pray for the pre-born and moms that are facing unexpected pregnancies? We will send you a 7-day prayer guide that will help guide you along this journey with us!! You can even choose to receive this great resource by text!