Back to School Challenges

While a lot of parents are breathing a sigh of relief that kids are about to aboard the school bus back to the classroom, many find this a particularly challenging time.

For a start there is the financial burden. Back to school supplies, backpacks and new outfits are just the beginning. There will be new clubs to join, activities and various sports teams that children will want to be part of all of which not only cost significant amounts in dues, but also cost even greater amounts to outfit.

At the same time children can be feeling nervous about starting a new school, making new friends or achieving high enough levels to get into future schools.

The mix of the two can make for a potentially stressful time for families. Here are some tips to get through the back to school blues.

Set a Budget ahead of time
Giving your child a budget for supplies and clothes for example, can foster responsibility and good money management. It also takes the stress away from constantly having to say no. Set the budget ahead of time and don’t get talked into deviating.

Sleep Routine
Get your child back into their school sleep routine a week or so before school starts. Otherwise, you will be struggling to get your child out bed causing unnecessary stress for all.

Being Organized
Make sure your child has all of their supplies ready to go in their backpack. Show them where to get the bus. Go to orientation if available. The smoother the first day goes, the better your child will feel about continuing to go.

Talk to your child
Asking your children about their fears or worries about going back to school will help them share their burden. But don’t make a huge deal of it. Let them see it as something that is natural and normal and that you are confident that everything will be perfectly fine. Build their confidence by letting them know how confident you are in their skills of making new friends and doing well. Make sure you bring up past successes and your child’s strengths.

Get involved and know the community
Knowledge of the school and the community will better equip you to understand your child’s surroundings and the transition he or she is undergoing. It will also make your child feel safer and more supported.

Model the Behaviour you would like to see in your child
Children will pick up on your behaviours and copy your attitudes. Model positive stress management and problem solving, as well as a confident and positive attitude. Turn the stress into excitement. If you are positive and confident about the transition there is a much greater chance your child will be too.

Stay positive and good luck!


Louise Parkinson MA is a Registered Psychotherapist. Schedule your visit with her by calling 416-920-2722 or by clicking here.