Back-to-school can be stressful for students returning to classes, but it can also be unsettling for parents…especially for those working 40 (or more) hours a week. Between managing schedules, running the household, and caring for young children, a new school year requires a real balancing act for working professionals. Many parents and their children experience anxiety leading up to the first day back-to-school, and it can linger until everyone’s settled into the new routine. Some may describe this experience as “organized chaos,” trying to purchase school supplies, first day of school outfits, and simply returning to the busyness of autumn.
Here are a few tips to help minimize the back-to-school jitters for both children and parents:
- Maintain an optimistic attitude – Children are aware of their parents’ emotions. If you’re positive about the first day of school, they will be, too.
- Start establishing a routine for children several weeks before school begins – Know how cranky you get when you’re tired. Remember that kids don’t have coping skills like adults do. Children require 8-10 hours of sleep, so getting a full night’s sleep will help increase productivity in the classroom.
- Shift your children into “education” mode – Visit museums and encourage reading to reinvigorate their excitement about learning.
- Model good behavior in front of children – Once school begins, work on a project while they’re doing homework to teach them the importance of hard work.
For parents struggling with getting into the back-to-school groove, your organization’s employee assistance program can provide support to help manage your sanity that will create a smooth transition for your student. An EAP will also teach you how to effectively manage anxiety and stress that will ultimately translate into increased productivity at home and in the workplace.
Ulliance, an international human resource management service company headquartered in Troy, Michigan, has been helping address personal concerns and working through conflict through its Life Advisor Employee Assistance Program. For more information about Ulliance, please visit www.ulliance.com or call 866-648-8326.