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Some Tips For Back To School Success

17 Aug

Well, it's that time of year, although it's hard to believe it's crept up so quickly. Yep, most kids will be going back to school, this week or next.

The children will be feeling separation anxiety, social anxiety and performance anxiety – and so, most likely, will their parents. Some could not possibly be separating soon enough, the blessed structure of school days coming as a godsend. Many will be feeling all of the above.

The kids will be worrying about which class they were assigned to, did they get a good teacher, are they with their friends, will this grade be really hard, will the class bully be meaner than ever, will they be able to keep up with the work, separate from home, make the team...

Parents will be facing lots of prep: the reading of instructions, purchasing school supplies, doc check-ups, shots, signing forms, getting school clothes that manage to fit the dress code and not embarrass the kid.

The kids will be reacting to their parents' stress and the parents to their kids'. It's just the way it goes. It settles down. But transitions are always hard – even the highly desirable ones.

back-to-schoolThe good news: every year is a new beginning. And there are things your kids can do, skills they can use, to maximize success. It's never too late to learn them, and they're built to last a lifetime.

And now of course there's a lot of great advice on the internet for parents who want to get a little ahead of the curve and meet the back-to-school insanity with some smarts and some tools.

I went trolling for good tips, and here is a short, common sense piece I liked a lot that won't break the bank on your time. (Any more to read, and this becomes one more stressor - I know, I know!!)

Dr. Gail Gross, a parenting expert and educator, offers psychologically savvy suggestions that nail the basics and don't overload you with too much advice. If you can only read one thing, I'd suggest it be this piece, and sooner rather than later, because she has some nice pre-planning ideas in there too.

If you want to explore a topic in more detail – like, say, bullying or nutrition or helping with homework – the American Academy of Pediatrics has an extensive list of tips that's easy to find by topic under various headers. The list as a whole might be more than you want to read..

And if you want some solid, mind-body resources and tools for back-to-school stress, check out our special Focus and Finish Kit that the team has put together, just for this perennially exciting but stressful occasion.

All best,

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Belleruth Naparstek

Psychotherapist, author and guided imagery pioneer Belleruth Naparstek is the creator of the popular Health Journeys guided imagery audio series. Her latest book on imagery and posttraumatic stress, Invisible Heroes: Survivors of Trauma and How They Heal (Bantam Dell), won the Spirituality & Health Top 50 Books Award.