"It would start as a small whine or a complaint about breakfast. Then it would slowly morph into not liking his clothes for the day and then refusing to put his shoes on. It would end with him AND me in tears as we drove silently to school, each feeling strong emotions of stress and anxiety about the everyday task of simply going to school." – CNMA Client
Surprisingly, this didn’t occur on the first day back. Rather, it was a slow easing into that peaked around weeks 4-6. It wasn’t until a meeting with his teachers that this client understood it was fear of leaving home and going to school each day. This child was afraid that his mother and father wouldn’t come back to pick him up and therefore, was trying everything to stay home.
Unfortunately, this is not an uncommon story. However, there is good news in that being mindful of back to school health – both physically and emotionally can prepare you and your children for a successful and healthy transition back to school.
Tips for a Healthy Emotional Transition
Let’s face it – going back to school can not only be stressful on your child, but on you as a parent, as well.
Here are 3 tips for a smoother transition from summer to school:
1. Expect Emotional Outbursts.
We would love if going off to school was as easy as waving goodbye as our children giddily ran towards friends, but let’s be real…it’s not that smooth many times.
The more we are mindful that emotional outbursts – yes, the screaming about getting up, the complaining about lunch, and the slamming of doors, the more we can prepare ourselves for how to deal with this anxiety (both theirs AND our own!) when it comes to the surface.
2. Encourage Emotional Regulation.
Once we realize that we should be on the lookout for normal emotional outbursts, it’s important to teach them healthy ways to regulate the emotions of anger, sadness, fear, stress and anxiety. The first thing we recommend is to approach the situation as a team. Talk with them one on one, letting them know that you are all in this together and that you are here to help them however you can. Having an open dialogue with your kids – even if they don’t participate – can help them feel safe and loved.
3. Know Where to Get Help.
There are times when we just need a little help. There’s nothing to feel guilty or shameful about, and it can turn the situation around in as little as one appointment! If you feel that reaching out for customized guidance could help, don’t hesitate to do it!
At CNMA, we have both a holistic counselor as well as a children’s art therapist that can help children (and parents) express, share, and process their emotions. Please contact us at (303) 688-6698 for more information.
Just know that if your family is finding it difficult to transition back to school in a calm manner, you are not the only one. Connecting with other mothers, fathers, families, etc. can help you feel less alone and may even provide some good suggestions for you to try!
Tips for a Healthy Physical Transition
Back to school isn’t just about pencils and paper – it’s also about colds and flus!
Here are 3 tips for a healthy physical transition back to school:
1. Good Sleep.
This is crucial for both emotional and physical health and we can help! If you child is having difficulty getting good sleep, we recommend (based on age) such things as:
– epsom salt baths before bed
– magnesium supplements for calm
– glycine powder placed in water before bed (1/4 to 1 tsp) for calm
Please call us at (303) 688-6698 if sleep becomes an issue as we may be able to help with your child’s specific sleep issue.
2. Take the Right Vitamins!
School has already started for some, and for others … in the next month or so…start now!
We encourage parents to give children supplements such as:
– a daily multivitamin
– vitamin D daily (separate from the multivitamin at 30 IU per pound of body weight)
– a daily probiotic (a natural anti-bacterial!) Note that these can all be ordered through CNMA.
3. Wash Hands.
Sounds familiar, right? The next time your little one washes his or her hands, take note of for how long and how well they are washed. You may just be surprised.
Make sure your kids understand how to properly wash their hands and ensure it’s the first thing they do when coming in the door after a day at school. You don’t want those germs spread around the house!
Remember, transitioning back to school may come with a few bumps, but hopefully you can be prepared in case they pop up.
If you are a parent in Castle Rock, Castle Pines, Parker, Centennial, Lone Tree, Highlands Ranch, Larkspur, Monument, Colorado Springs, or the greater Denver Metro Area and need support in helping your children transition to back to school or need some therapeutic relaxation, please contact our office for a free 15 minute consultation with Dr. Graves to learn about what could help you and your family most.
Because back to school should be fun…not frustrating! 303.688.6698