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Reducing the Stress of a New School Year

The beginning of the school year can be exciting but also challenging. Kids may worry about fitting in, liking their teachers, not being in the same class as their friends, and their marks. As parents/guardians we have lots to consider – making lunches, helping with homework, extra-curricular activities, after school care and chaotic mornings. 

The beginning of the school year is a perfect time to establish a new rhythm in your house. Routines help you and your children develop self-discipline and feel more confident. They create healthy expectations for everyone. Here are a few tips to help: 


  • Mornings are much easier when everyone has had enough sleep. Create an evening ritual that ensures everyone gets to bed at their scheduled time. This can be tricky, especially when you or your child have evening activities. It’s OK if bedtime schedules need to be adjusted – it teaches children to be flexible. 
  • The night before, have your children help prepare lunches, choose their clothes and pack their bags. This alone will increase your mental well-being in a very positive way by helping you feel more relaxed.
  • Allow enough time in the morning to get ready, eat and chat in an unhurried manner. This sets the tone for the rest of the day. 


Let’s face it – implementing new routines may be met with resistance and trigger a roller coaster of emotions. Helping your child deal with them can be challenging, especially when you are also feeling overwhelmed, frustrated and even exhausted. 


Try these 3 steps to help your child with their emotions:

  1. Listen to what is bothering them without trying to use logic to get them to feel better.
  2. Help them name the emotion(s) they are experiencing.
  3. Give them examples of what they can do to move through their emotions in a healthy way. Practice the strategies together.


With you as their guide, your child will be able to enjoy their new school year feeling prepared, excited and supported.

Until next time…


Sara Westbrook is a professional speaker and creator of UPower Inc, offering keynotes, presentations and workshops on ‘Emotions Change Choices’ to audiences ages 4 -100. She can be found at sarawestbrook.com or on Instagram @iamsarawestbrook.


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