9 ways to reduce back-to-school stress

It seems like we just celebrated the end of the school year with parties and mad dashes off to get our summer vacations underway. Now, suddenly, we’re in the final days of transitioning to the everyday classroom routine.

Going back to school can be a challenging transition.

Here are some ideas on how you can make the transition a little less stressful — for you and your child.

  • Start planning your wake up time and morning rituals. Slowly and gradually start waking up earlier each day, leading up to the first day of school. Make it a household goal.  It’s not much fun to get up and start arguing.
  • Don’t forget your evening rituals, as those will have an impact on the outcomes in the morning too.
  • Make a set time to turn off computers, TVs and other electronics. Turn off harsh lights and instead use more soft lighting to prepare for bedtime.
  • Get your showers and baths done in the evening.
  • Turn on some classical music without heavy bass. Deep bass can sometimes be an irritation to the neurological system, so avoid it if you can. Many times, classical music with strings or the piano is relaxing and calming.
  • Pick out one or two outfits for the morning the night before and have them ready to put on. That includes everything down to the shoes.  Then, in the morning, allow your child to pick the outfit he or she wants to wear, even if it is a uniform.
  • Avoid turning on the TV in the morning, unless you added in time to the morning schedule to allow for it. Transitions between getting ready and watching TV are hard.
  • Develop a reward system for meeting the goals of getting up, ready and off to school without stress or arguing. Start with rewarding each day, but move out to a week and, later, maybe even monthly. If your child is older (at least third grade), make them responsible for keeping track of good days on a family calendar.
  • Include your child as much as you can in the planning, so he or she starts to develop some ownership of their schedule.

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9 ways to reduce back-to-school stress