Starting back to school after the summer can create considerable stress for children and adolescents, as well as their families. Unstructured time and freedom to choose one’s activities give way to morning alarm clocks, spending entire days sitting in a desk and homework to fill what little spare time is left.
In addition, the social context in school is generally more complex than during summer, and the young person now has to deal with how others treat him or her, who is friends with whom, and where one fits in the social scheme.
Students are affected by all of this, plus dealing with the stress of new learning, and perhaps tiredness from adjusting to a different sleep pattern. Often sports activities and lessons begin again. Parents are adjusting too, and may be tapped out physically, emotionally and financially with all the demands that seem to hit at once.
With all of this, it can be hard to remember we can support each other lovingly through this difficult time. Parents should prepare themselves mentally for what is to come, remembering to enjoy these years, because they slip by so very quickly. Our job is to support our children, to stay calm and deal with things in a mature adult manner.
In their own ways, our children may be freaking out inside, so the last thing they need are parents who are also freaking out. Maintain a sense of humor, let your children know they are loved, and you will all get through it.
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