Back to school is in full swing. While lots of parents celebrate the fact that their kids no longer need summer daytime care, some children get a case of the ‘blues’ as they head back to the classroom. What’s more, some parents get those blues, too! Luckily, there are several ways to battle the blues, ensuring that your entire household remains as upbeat and healthy as possible.
Get to Know the School: Whether your child is attending a new school this year or returning to the same building they’ve been going to for years, take time to learn something new about the school. Get involved in back-to-school gatherings that let you meet teachers and other parents. Volunteer at the next classroom event or attend a PTO meeting. The more knowledgeable you become about your child’s school, the more comfortable you’ll feel as a parent. In addition, you may be able to better understand any issues your child might be having–such as anxiety or depression–if you have a finger on the pulse.
Give Yourself More Time in the Morning: Going back to school means once again getting into the back-to-school routine. If you haven’t quite gotten your routine nailed down yet, do yourself a favor and set your alarm 15 minutes earlier in the morning. Do the same with your kids. You may even consider setting several house clocks minutes ahead to ensure that everyone gets out the door on time. The whole family is happier when no one is running around screaming, “Hurry up or you’ll miss the bus!”
Make Healthy Eating a Priority: In the summer it was pretty easy to become lax with your eating routines. However, in order to help ensure great mental health, a healthy diet is extremely important. Everything from a filling breakfast (the most important meal of the day) to fruits and vegetables packed in lunches can help battle back-to-school blues with vigor. Don’t forget that packing school lunches the night before can help to minimize that morning rush!
Get Outside: The best way to battle the blues is to encourage everyone to spend some time outside. Rather than having your kids begin their homework before dinner or letting them watch television, encourage everyone to go into the backyard. Children can play with the family pet, read, play sports, or just enjoy the autumn weather.
Always be sure to watch children for signs of anxiety or depression now that school is back in session. With simple changes, families can battle the back-to-school blues successfully.