These tips from Don Mordecai, MD, Kaiser Permanente’s national mental health leader, will help your kids feel more confident, supported, and ready to learn.
Going back to school is a time when parents and kids alike experience a mix of feelings. It’s a time of excitement and anticipation but can also bring challenges.
There are a number of ways you can help your kids cope.
“One of the best ways to help children regulate their emotions is to give them daily structure,” said Don Mordecai, MD, child and adolescent psychiatrist, and national mental health leader for Kaiser Permanente.
Establishing routines for the school year can help your kids deal with uncertainty and change.
Parents can model healthy habits by caring for themselves.
“It’s important to focus on the things we can control,” Dr. Mordecai said. “Take care of yourself with regular physical activity and adequate rest.”
If you can stay healthy and calm, you’ll be better able to help your children manage stress.
Give your kids space to express their emotions as the school year unfolds. Let them know it’s normal to feel stressed or worried sometimes.
“It helps to focus on the positive whenever possible,” Dr. Mordecai said. “So encourage your kids to talk about the things they’re looking forward to.”
“But be open to whatever they may have to say,” he continued. “It’s important for kids to know that they won’t overwhelm those who care for them if they express their true feelings.”
Make sure they understand that they’re not alone. Knowing you’ll be there to help them adapt can help your kids feel more secure.