Beat the “Back-to-School Blues”
By: Laura Lebovitz | LMFT at Grow Counseling
The fresh smell of new sharpened pencils, the sound of school bells ringing in the halls, reunions with friends you haven’t seen all summer, cracking open new binders for the first time… it’s the most wonderful time of the year! Wait, your kids aren’t actually excited about returning to school? They might be dealing with a bad case of the back-to-school blues! It is normal for both kids and parents to experience some sadness when the break from school is coming to an end. Returning to school can be a difficult experience for kids. By being proactive, you can help your kids alleviate those feelings of stress, dread, and sadness that sometimes come with the beginning of the school year.
Here are some easy ways to beat the back-to-school blues!
Make an end-of-summer checklist for your kids.
Kids sometimes feel sad about going back to school because they worry that the fun times of summer are over. Find exciting ways to end the summer break with a bang. Have each person in the family write down things they want to do to celebrate the end of summer and start the school year off on the right foot! Think of fun things you’ve never done around Atlanta before and try to check a few of them off of the list.
Ease into the transition.
Big changes can sometimes feel overwhelming and difficult for kids. Try to ease into the new routine instead of jumping in right before school starts. Slowly adjust to the new sleep and breakfast schedule of the school year. Practice finding their new classrooms at school or making their way to the bus stop to help soothe any nerves. Also make sure to schedule some fun activities even after school starts to make sure the fun of summer doesn’t end once the school year begins. Schedule some extra outdoor play time for the first week of school or a little celebration to help your kids feel excited about being done with the first week of school. Even something like a special dinner out or a family movie night could help your kids ease smoothly into the school year.
Reacquaint with old friends.
Summer can get so busy with camps and vacations. This may mean that sometimes kids don’t see their friends until the very first day of school. Getting back together with school friends can help your kids focus on the exciting aspects of school instead of just thinking of the upcoming stress or change in routine. Schedule a play date or a BBQ get-together with old friends so they can get reacquainted with each other.
Create new goals for the new year.
Find new ways for your kids to get excited for the school year. Have them pick a new school club to join, a sport to try, or even a local charity they could help. You could even create a goal for the entire family to try to accomplish like saving money for a special dinner out or even a vacation activity! Goals can help everyone feel less stagnant and more refreshed and ready to make the new school year a success!
Laura Lebovitz is a licensed associate marriage and family therapist that works in the Suwanee area at GROW Counseling. She received her Masters of Family Therapy from Mercer University School of Medicine. She works with children, adolescents, young adults, and families dealing with a variety of concerns. She specializes in working with anxiety, autism, self-harm, life transitions like divorce, and building healthy relationships within families.