The summer of 2022 is coming to an end and the school season is either right around the corner, or maybe it has already started for you! Going back to school has an impact on everyone, from children to parents and family members. This back to school season can look like the first day of preschool to the final year of college. It is a time full of emotions, excitement and possibly some stress. Here are a few tips from the clinicians at Fleming Family Therapy to help you navigate this transition.
Routine Routine Routine:
“Parents should work together to create a routine for their child(ren) a week before school starts to help with the transition process.” -Rachel Casey, MS, LMFT
“Creating your own organizational system is key in your academic journey. Knowing yourself, strengths and weaknesses, and what helps you succeed is vital. Figure out what works best for you, stick with it, and execute. The way you do things doesn’t have to look like everyone else’s.” -Ryan Chandler, MS, ALMFT
Tips for Parents:
“Create structure with daily routines such as dinner, homework, and bedtime. You can also encourage your child(ren) to share their school experiences and challenges”-Dawn Paquelet, M.Ed.
“Try to utilize consistency with your children as much as possible as they adjust back into the new school-year! After a summer of fun it can be hard to transition back into a very structured routine. Children crave structure so it can be helpful to set expectations of scheduled times for school-work, play, chores, and bedtime, and sticking to them as much as possible. This will help prepare your child(ren) for success as they navigate the path forward!”– Ashley Starnes, MS, ALMFT
“For parents of little kids: Remember that it takes some time for everyone to adjust to the transition back to school! It’s completely normal for your little ones to act “off” during the evenings once school starts. Maybe they eat less at dinner, start throwing some extra tantrums, or just seem “moody”. They’re not only adjusting to the transition, they’re also using up their “positive energy stores” during the day, and are fatigued when they get home. As adults, we can definitely relate! You can help your child(ren) with the transition by keeping to a routine, prioritizing bedtime, and communicating the expectations and schedule as much as possible.”-Katie Fleming, MS, LMFT, PMH-C
“Once your child(ren) arrives home from school, build in some time for them to decompress! If they want to go into details about their day that’s fantastic, but try not to push them into sharing everything right away. Giving them space to come down from the day can help settle them into the home routine, recharge before tackling homework and leave you with a great opportunity to talk about the day while at the dinner table!”-Samantha Tankenoff, MS, ALMFT
Put It All Together:
During this time know that everyone will look a little different! Introducing a routine prior to school starting can help set everyone up for success. This can help with the transition by reducing stress and knowing the expectations for everyone. Each member of your family is different, and you can use those strengths while you are making your own unique routine! These tips can be utilized and adapted to be used by any age . Know that it may take some time to adjust and in the meantime there could be “off” times or outburst as everyone is transitioning. Allow for decompression after you/your child(ren) arrives home. The decompression time is great for recharging and reflecting on the day while sharing if you/your child(ren) are feeling up to it!
Please note that this content is for informational purposes, and not a substitute for treatment. If you are in need of mental health treatment, please seek out a provider in your area. For those located near Chicago, you may book online through our Schedule an Appointment page.