October has finally arrived and the school season for children has resumed. Many of these children are first graders and this is the first experience of being away from their family and parents. But parents, in turn, share in the experience, and they experience stress and anxiety that did not exist before. This stress especially affects the mother of the family: because of her motherly feelings, it becomes more difficult for her to bear sending her children to an unfamiliar environment. If you have such an experience ahead of you and you are already worried about the start of the school season, stay tuned for more. In this article, relying on the comments of two expert advisors, we will introduce you to strategies and tips that will be effective in managing the stress caused by starting school.
Recently, a child education center conducted a statistical study. In this estimate, a survey of all family members shows: 63% believe that the mother of the family suffers the most stress and pressure when starting school and the first day of school.
Only 27 percent of the children who had to go to school were more worried than their mothers.
According to Michele Levin, a family therapist, such a result is not surprising at all. “When children are going to school or kindergarten for the first time, parents will have a hard time adjusting to the new conditions, which is normal,” he said. “For many families, this is the first time they have lost some of their control over their children.”
According to Levin, the first day of school is difficult and stressful for almost all parents; But there are parents who, in the meantime, need more support and help than others to adapt to the new situation.
Michelle Levine and Dr. Sara Bode – whose comments we will repeat below – have solutions for us in this regard. Parents can use these strategies to manage their anxiety and stress: the stress they experience at the start of the school season. In the following, we will talk about the details of these solutions.
The importance of practicing to create new daily habits and going to welcome a new event
Dr. Sarah Budd is a pediatrician and spokeswoman for the American Academy of Pediatrics and specializes in child health at school. He advises mothers who have been overwhelmed by the anxiety and stress of the first days of school: to spend time thinking about the root of these worries and looking for a way to address them.
“Perhaps the way to address these concerns for you is to contact the teachers, the principal or the school administrator and talk to them about your concerns before they start school,” he said. “Such actions, because they involve you, will be accompanied by a sense of greater control over the situation.”
According to him, such preparation for the start of school is like rehearsing for an upcoming event; As you know, by practicing, you can do anything and master it.
In addition to what has been said, this exercise is also related to adding new daily habits; This means that from a few days before the start of school, it is better to add the tasks you will have at that time to your daily habits and tasks.
For example, a few days in advance you can wake your children up early in the morning, prepare the clothes they are going to wear in the morning from the night before, or set the time for breakfast now. In this way, the changes that come with starting school will be less annoying and more tolerable.
“If you can find a way to start your mornings with your child in a positive way, you will gradually develop a new daily routine and reduce the intensity of stress and anxiety,” says Dr. Bood.
Prevent the transmission of parental anxiety to children
The root cause of stress in many parents is the worry that their child is about to enter a completely new and unfamiliar environment; This can upset them.
According to Michel Levine, parents should keep in mind that they have no right to control their children’s experiences; They simply have the right to control their own reaction to this new event.
Levine urges parents to remember that it is not their job to keep their children away from stressors or unpleasant experiences; Instead, parents should focus on helping their children better understand their feelings: Ask them to talk about those feelings and give them solutions to cope with future difficulties.
“Of course, it will be difficult for you to get to know the new situation beforehand and become aware of it,” Levine explains. But getting to know the problem better and trying to cope with it will benefit both you and your children. “In this way, you will both get used to the new conditions more easily.”
Parents who are concerned about their children’s new experiences and do not try to hide them are making things more difficult for everyone; Because this stress and anxiety also spreads to children. “Sarah Budd says:
“Ultimately, it is the parental behavior that will be the main determinant. “Such concerns also occupy the minds of children: for example, constantly asking whether the school they have chosen is a good option or not, or talking about whether children will be able to cope with new situations or be harassed when they enter school.”
The importance of helping children cope with and accept new situations
But they are not the only parents who suffer from stress and anxiety at the beginning of the school year. Most children deal with such feelings. In this situation, the role of parents is important and vital to help them cope with the new situation.
“The more you can reduce the unfamiliarity of this new experience for children and help them better understand the situation at school, the better,” says Sarah Budd. For example, make a plan and go to your new school with your child before school starts; Also, talk about everything to look forward to in this new environment; Also, talk to her about what her first day of school might be like. “By doing this, we can help the children.”
According to him, adding these things to the daily habits of children will play an important role in coping with new conditions.
Of course, some children become more anxious and anxious than others. In this case, it is better to use the facilities provided by some schools. “Ask the school authorities for help,” said Sarah Budd. They will put you on the right track. “For example, some schools offer consultation with a pediatrician or other such solution.”
Coping heroically with the first day of school
When the first day of school arrives, first graders become stressed and anxious. This is a perfectly normal situation.
Parents who have previously been anxious and stressed about how their child will cope with new situations are tempted to say goodbye to their child for a long time. Levin and Budd forbid their parents from doing this. According to these two experts, parents should adhere to the same schedule and do not say goodbye for longer than usual.
“We tell parents that prolonging this separation, as usual, does not calm the children down,” says Sarah Budd. Rather, it makes things more difficult for them. Some children have anxiety disorders or other similar disorders, and the first day of school becomes more difficult for them than others; “But for ordinary children, the best thing to do is to talk to them realistically about their new experience and let them cope with the new situation.”
Instead of prolonging the moment of separation, it is better to give your children a strong heart: reassure them that they will have a great and lively day; Finally, leave them alone with their teacher. Most of the time, teachers themselves know very well how to deal with first graders so that they can more easily get used to the new situation and not become restless.
“I often hear from teachers that children relax 10 minutes after their parents leave school,” says Sarah Budd. “However, if parents stay in school, the children’s anxiety and stress will increase.”
Michelle Levine advises parents to be in control of themselves at the moment of farewell, even if it is not easy for them. “When babies get scared, they start crying,” he says. “God forbid you leave me alone, do not force me to go,” he supposedly says. “In this situation, it is natural for his parents to be emotional, worried and upset.”
Michelle Levine encourages parents to recall their favorite quote in situations like this:
Share your peace and comfort with others. Do not join the chaos of others.
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He adds: “The best thing to do is to calmly drop your child off at school, smile all the time, and when he’s gone, if you like, go to the corner and cry a little for yourself. “As much as possible, you should avoid showing emotional reactions like this in front of your child’s eyes.”
Remember the plan you have already made with your child; Then tell her you love her; Then trust his teacher to take charge of the rest.
The last word
These may not seem easy to do, but in the end, they are the best choices possible for both you and your child. In this way, the situation will return to normal sooner than you think, and the children will go to school like other jobs.
Do you remember the first days of school? Did you have a first grader and send him to school? We will be happy if you share your experiences with us and our readers. If you have a solution to manage stress during this period, be sure to write to us.