The stress of back to school.
This week is the return to school here in Canada. We changed from the routine of the last 2 months of vacations to the routine of the school year. For children as well as for young people and adults, every change of routine implies a certain dose of tension, since it requires us to adapt to a new order.
Thus, we have to say that this tension can be translated into greater irritability of both parents and children. It is very common that we begin to talk about anxiety because we begin to overthink about the future. We are about to face a new school year, new cycles of activities, new tasks, new challenges, new expectations.
It is precisely these expectations that can lead to anxiety. What do parents expect of their children during this school year? What do boys and children expect of themselves and their environment at school?
In the case of the kids, they will face again demands of academic, social and behavioral order. It is estimated that 44% of students suffer from anxiety that ranges from medium to severe before returning to school. However, it is not common for children or young people to verbalize these feelings and then they will express them with actions or behaviors. Some of these behaviors where parents will have to keep attention are: when their children are avoiding responsibilities they used to do; when they have trouble sleeping; they act angry, or they simply feel sad or depressed; develop any disease or pain (mainly in the stomach); they have difficulty separating from you in other situations.
On the other hand, adults will also face a stress related to the return to class. One that is very clear and obvious is the economic stress arising from the expenses involved in returning to classes, together with the possible demands that children may have regarding these expenses. On the other hand, adults will also move from a more relaxed state of vacation rhythm to a more hectic pace to meet new schedules related to school and extracurricular activities. Likewise, many times the expectations that parents have about these extracurricular activities can lead to stress and anxiety.
I propose here some measures on how to deal with this stress of returning to school:
For the kids it is important to re-establish a pattern of sleep and meals that was relaxed during the holiday period. If they are attending a new school, accompanying them the first few days can help. If they are expressing signs of anxiety, mentioned above, it is important to be able to help them express and verbalize them.
On the part of the parents it is important to have a financial planning and on the other hand to create and maintain an open line of communication with the children where they can express their concerns or tensions.
A new school year is a new challenge that should lead to growth. The more we can enjoy this process, the less anxiety and greater benefit will be present in the day to day. If you need any kind of support, do not hesitate to contact me.