With the frenzy of back-to-school preparations and the first week of school finally behind them, your kids are back to school but actually more susceptible to becoming even more stressed than ever. From making friends and fitting in, to handling added school work and academic responsibilities, the slew of emotions are enough to make your children physically ill.
Stress can suppress the immune system’s ability to fight off infections and viruses. In addition, it can cause a domino affect on your children’s energy level and ability to stay awake during the day (from lethargy, sleep insomnia, etc.).
As parents, be mindful of your children’s needs and encourage them to open up and discuss their experiences at school.
Here are four tips now that kids are back to school:
- Listen. Your child knows if you are paying attention to him/her. Do not multi-task while having a conversation with your child. If you tune him/her out, she/he will hold back. That makes you the person he/she would be least likely to turn to for help.
- Empathize. Yes, it may be a long time since your days of hallway dramas of school but it’s not for your kid. If they know you understand, they will keep coming back to you for that understanding.
- Strategize. Once you know the issue, assure your child that you will provide them the help he/she needs. Offer him/her tools to deal with difficult situations (is it a class bully or bad grades). Teach them to find resolutions to the problems maturely.
- Be involved. Being there is not just about just “showing up” at the school play or soccer game. It means being present and aware of the (many) mood changes throughout the day. Ask questions. Send text messages or emails throughout the day letting them know you care.