Parents, Do You Have Back-to-School Stress Too?
It’s OK not to be OK
Transitions are hard!
Every year we hear of families going through the stress of back to school. For some, the addition of the daily structure is a godsend. For others, the rigidity of the school day is a nightmare to navigate.
This year brings much of the same but with an added layer of complexity.
In a typical year, back-to-school challenges include:
- Who is dropping off, picking up or car-pooling?
- What school supplies does this class/school need?
- When to get to bed and when to wake up?
- How do after school activities fit in?
And now add:
- Which days are virtual, and which are in-person?
- Where do we find the online class and assignment links?
- How many face masks do we need?
- Are the face masks washed?
- Is the hand sanitizer filled?
- Where do I get a thermometer for daily temp checks?
- Did I remember to brush my teeth?
Your head is ready to explode, right?
Three steps for pulling yourself back together
#1 Have the pity party
When my son was diagnosed with leukemia 18 years ago my world came to a crashing stop. Different than COVID, but almost as extensive. Nothing in our lives remained the same.
One particularly comforting memory is a friend stopping by with a box of tissues and a package of Oreos. A cry and comfort food. 🙂
It was only after I could have a good cry about how my life was impacted that I was able to begin picking up the pieces. I was able to move forward viewing a glass a quarter full instead of three quarters empty.
You will be able to find a new way after you truly acknowledge how all of this impacts you personally. That’s when some real problem solving can begin.
#2 Choose new ways to be normal
What is normal anyway? Goals for my kids’ activities always included something with people (social), activity (body), and creativity (mind).
Your family routines used to segment around in-school or after-school. That’s certainly been turned on its head! With all of the changes, it’s an opportunity to re-think activities. What purpose do they serve?
With virtual classes, simply going to school two days a week may check the box for something social. Keep it simple by choosing one active and one creative outlet. Relish the downtime you’ve all gotten accustomed to.
#3 Take time out for yourself
One family I recently spoke to found that with everyone working and learning at home, each parent simply needed space to themselves outside the house. Each weekend they prioritized four hours of golf for dad, and four hours of alone time for mom. That was their way of recharging.
What is possible for you? Ask yourself, what brings me joy? Is it a walk around the block for 15 minutes? Maybe its five minutes in the shower screaming your favorite song! Or a walk along the lake or the woods every weekend.
Whatever your unique recharge, make the time non-negotiable.
Sometimes your recharge needs help from others
At Kinetic Konnections, we find that some parents have their own set of physical traumas over the years. This physical stress makes it hard to relax and calm in general, never mind this stressful season!
The parents we help are amazed that after one or two sessions they are better able to navigate their child’s behavioral challenges and keep their cool in the moment.
Our goal at Kinetic Konnections is to keep your body optimally organized to behave, focus and be active for the things you enjoy in life.
Our wishes to all for a smooth transition into the Fall!
Two uplifting and brief Podcasts
A daily thought from Deepak Chopra that is only 2-3 minutes. Calming and thought provoking.
Happier with Gretchen Rubin, the author of The Happier Project and The Four Tendencies.