Text Box: Dealing with School Anxiety During the Summer
	The end of the school year brings relief to most households.  For a few, brief months the daily struggle with homework, morning routines, bedtime and other school-induced anxieties are put aside in favor of lazy days by the pool, relaxed schedules that allow for later bedtimes and later wake-ups and a general loosening of the daily routine.  While the benefits of family vacations and the freedom of summer should be enjoyed, it’s important to remember that summer can also be used as time to prepare for the coming school year.  
	Back to school can introduce many new stresses into our lives and the lives of our children.    New schools, new teachers, new classmates and new academics can all cause an increased level of stress in even the most stable of children.  Planning ahead and starting the school routine several weeks ahead of time can help to reduce this level of stress and make for a smoother transition into the new school year.
	Here are several ideas for decreasing the back –to-school stress in your home:
Early to bed, early to rise – starting several weeks before the beginning of school, begin moving bedtime backward by 15 minutes every few days until the desired bedtime is reached.  Likewise, begin getting up 15 minutes earlier every day.
Routine, routine, routine – begin to follow the nightly and morning routine used during the school year everyday for several weeks before school starts.  No matter what time bedtime or wakeup occurs, go through the same routine (showers, teeth brushing, lunch preparations) that will be followed during the school year.
Walk through it – if possible, walk with your child through the school he/she will attend.  This is especially helpful if they will be new to the school since it can help familiarize them with the environment.
Stack the deck – if you are allowed any input into your child’s class assignments, try to make arrangements for them to be in class (or at least one class for middle and high school students) with a friend.  The addition of a friendly face can make the day go easier and certainly helps to ensure a lunch buddy as well.
Shopping! – admittedly this appeals mostly to females, but taking your child shopping and letting them pick out new school supplies and clothes allows them to feel they have some control in the whole process of returning to school.  Further, it can help to build some positive anticipation about the return to school.
Talk, talk, talk – talk to your child about what concerns them about returning to school and try to address those concerns in a positive way.  This is also a good time to talk about school bullies, peer pressure and other important topics.  Clarify your expectations and work to troubleshoot solutions to these potential problems before they become bigger issues.
The most important thing to remember is to maintain a positive attitude so that your child can do the same.  Emphasizing the fun aspects of back –to-school can help your children turn their nervous anxiety into excitement.

Summer  2010

Issue 19

Carolina Center for Counseling

& Behavioral Interventions, LLC

Contact Information

304 A North East Main Street

  Simpsonville, SC 29681    


Phone: 864 - 963 - 4028

Fax: 877-201-4878


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