Here’s tips to prepare your kids for back-to-school

The Corpus Christi Independent School District Administration building on July 25, 2022.

When I was young I hated going back to school and leaving summer vacation behind. I would get anxious about the new year, wondering what friends I’d have in my class and which teacher I’d get. Then I would worry about hypothetical tests and projects that I just knew I’d get bad grades on. There was such a heaviness when school rolled around, erasing all the tranquility I had acquired that summer.

I can’t imagine what it’s like as a kid now. They’re dealing with so much more: the pandemic, trauma of frequent school shootings and increased bullying. It’s scary, and it’s something that none of our generations have seen before.

The Corpus Christi Independent School District Administration building on July 25, 2022.

So here’s what I’m going to do with my soon-to-be second grader and kindergartener to help with the transition. I hope it helps our collective mental health.

  1. We’re going to get back into our school routine, ie waking up earlier, getting dressed first thing and eating (a healthy-ish) breakfast.
  2. We’ll talk about what’s making them nervous. Both of my kids have new teachers this year, so I know that’s a source of anxiety. I’ll make it known that we can talk about that and anything else that’s bothering them.
  3. Empathize with my kids. I need to listen and show empathy. I’ll try not to brush off their feelings; instead, I’ll validate their worries and concerns.
  4. I’ll encourage my kids to talk about their fears or how their day went, but I won’t badger. I’ll also give them tips on self-care and healthy coping skills and how it can help their stress levels.
  5. I’ll be present. When my kids get home, I’ll push my work aside, put my phone away and concentrate on them. They may want alone time to decompress, but they will know that I’m available at any time.

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