By: Lindsey Elam, Certified Prevention Specialist
The change from a carefree summer to school, activities, and homework can be stressful for parents and for students. Our stress as parents tend to feel more important to us than stress that students face, but we need to take a moment to realize that the stress they feel is very real to them. According to the 2015 Linn County Community Survey, Linn County youth reported that stress and anxiety tend to be key reasons youth turn to substance use. Here are a few tips that can help ease the stress of going back to school.
- Stay Positive: There will be a bit of anxiety with going back to school, help reassure your child that feeling anxious is understandable when changes occur and that they can always talk to you about it.
- Routine: Create a routine that will help them to know what to expect for a school day.
- Create A Space: Make a space that is dedicated for homework. Have a healthy snack available for after school, and give them breaks if they have a lot of homework.
- “How was school?”: As parents we want to know what they do at school, both good and bad. Some children are just fine with chatting right after school while others may not. Let your child take the lead and if they seem like they don’t want to share right away, give them some time and try again later.
- Acknowledge: Let your child know that you hear their feelings and sometimes they just need you there to listen.
If you feel like your child is experiencing a large amount of stress and anxiety and they need additional support, contact your school counselor or nurse and they may be able to connect you with a resource in your community.