Back-to-school means the end of summer playtime, but it also can mean excitement for children. There’s a fresh start of heading back to school, seeing old friends, and getting into a new routine. However, sometimes kids have a difficult time with the adjustment period and need a little help making the transition. Here are 4 strategies to help beat the back-to-school blues:
Create Nighttime & Morning Rituals
Kids of all ages need something to depend on for home routines at night and in the morning. Even if it’s just a quick snuggle, all children need some touch-up (even older kids). Every family is different, but rituals can include things like reading a book together, giving a high-five, or having some other special experience to help your child feel a sense of structure.
Keep Track of Positive Things
Ask your child for positive, happy things they experience throughout the day, then write them down on sticky notes (you may also consider making a collage of some sort to help your child be creative). It’s so easy to focus on the negative, hard things, and keeping a collection of spots of positivity can help cheer kids up.
Ask Deeper Questions
We’re often socialized to give short, predictable greetings to each other. For example asking “how was your day?” will almost always yield an answer like “fine.” Instead of just going through the motions, start a conversation and dig a little deeper to get to the root of how your child is actually. Allow them to express both the positive and the negative parts of their experience.
Seek Outside Resources
If after you’ve done your very best you still feel like your child’s mood or behavior have extended beyond their typical adjustment period, it’s alright to get help. Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) and other types of mood disorders can be hard to face alone, so seek professional therapy for your child. There is no shame in getting help and support.