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Managing stress when children go back to school

August 31, 2017

Back to school can be a stressful time – for kids and parents. We all want to be sure we are doing the right things to keep our kids healthy both physically and mentally. We asked some family physicians in BC to share their thoughts on how families can make the transition smoothly:

Mentally and emotionally prepare your child. Involve children in as many choices as possible, such as choosing their backpack for the year or the first day of school outfit. Talk about the friends they will see and activities that you know they will enjoy.

Ease into it. Summer is usually an easygoing time, with later bedtimes and less structure in a child’s day. Prepare as much as possible in advance by limiting any last-minute activities. For example, put out clothes and make lunches the night before school.

Protect family time. Make sure that you still make time each day to put away screens and focus on being together as a family. 

Be aware of your own feelings. Back to school is a time of change for everyone. The more that parents are aware of their own feelings the better they will be able to avoid conflict and support their family through the transition.

Finally –  remember it’s important to ensure that all vaccines and medications are up-to-date.

For more information, read this article featuring Dr Jana Davidson, psychiatrist-in-chief at BC Children’s Hospital. Preparation for transition is key to back to school experience.