7 Tips to help Manage Your Back-to-School Mental Health
It’s August, the national back to school month. A brand new school year is here, and a lot is happening. You need to buy supplies, prepare your children psychologically, and help them in many other ways. But there’s one thing many parents often don’t pay enough attention to their children’s mental health. In most cases, lack of mental health awareness is to blame. Mental health during back to school month is something every parent should take seriously.
You’ll do most of what needs to be done, of course. But you’ll want to rope in your child’s friends, teacher, and your friends. And, if your child is battling depression, consider contacting a good Sudbury psychiatrist. Here’s a few back to school mental health tips to help you stay strong throughout the “ordeal.”
1. Start Prepping Your Children Early Enough
You need to ease your children gradually rather than suddenly into the new school year. Reintroduce the usual routines about two weeks before report to school. Have them go to bed at the typical school-year bedtime. And make sure they’re getting adequate amounts of sleep.
Also, let them start reading at a particular time every day. Starting early will help your child get used to the newness of it all sooner than you imagine. The whole idea is to guide them into the rhythm of a more regimented schedule.
2. Talk to Them
No matter how busy you are, create time to be with your child. Know what they’ve been up to all day. Are there any challenges they’re dealing with? Hopefully, you’ve built an enabling environment where they can share their fears freely. Let them know you desire to support them.
Ask about their fears regarding the new school year. What goals do they have? Anything exciting in their plans? No matter what’s happening in their lives, you should be that caring friend they need. That’s not to say you can’t help them correct bad behavior. It just means do it lovingly.
3. Know What’s Happening in their Social World
Know what your children are encountering on social media. Lots of things keep happening there, some of which might stress them out. Accidents, mass shootings, people they know announcing the divorce, or whatever.
Monitor their social accounts without being unnecessarily intrusive. It may also be a good idea to have them stop texting during bedtime. They should be recharging for the next day instead of focusing on other people’s lives or issues.
4. Talk to Others
Are you feeling stressed out? Don’t isolate yourself from others. Talk to your friends. Ask about their challenges and what’s working for them. Someone might share a tip that might help you handle your back to school situation much better. Plus, talking to others reminds you that you’re not the only person going through this situation.
Also, get reliable information relating to easing children back into school life. Where possible, schedule a meeting with your child’s teacher. Let them know anything they should about your child. Ask for advice or feedback, too. You might be surprised to learn the teacher knows something about your kid that you’ve never noticed.
5. Help them Cultivate Positive Relationships with Others
Maybe your children are feeling lonely or worrying about friendships. Now is the time to encourage them to contact their friends. Have them visit their friends for a fun-filled day. Or you can organize with them to schedule a play date at your home. Having them interact with other kids before school starts can greatly help their social skills. They also get to cement their friendships and build a childhood past they’ll love talking about in the future.
6. Devise Effective Homework Strategies
Not all kids are excited about school-based learning. In fact, some children hate school. For such kids, the prospect of another challenging school year freaks them out. They’re worried, and they need help. Understand the following. While they may not like school or be particularly talented, they can still get things done on time.
So help your child develop effective strategies for completing assignments on time. Teach them about the value of determination, hard work, and discipline. Working through challenging schoolwork without giving up helps them understand that life’s tough but they’re tougher.
Also, make sure to stay connected with their teacher throughout the school term. Ask them if they’ve noticed any problem that might require your support or attention. One more thing: check that backpack every day. Agree on after-school rules. For instance, they can’t play until they’ve finished their homework.
7. Consult with an Expert if the Child is Depressed
Is your child depressed? Every parent needs to know the signs to keep their eyes peeled for. Here are some of the symptoms. A depressed child has trouble falling asleep. They also tend to keep to themselves, preferring to stay in their room all day.
In addition, they may lose appetite or eat excessively. You’ll also notice that they lack the energy to do even the simplest simple things for themselves. They may also be irritable or weepy. If you’ve seen some or all of these signs, it’s about time you consulted with a mental health expert.
The right Sudbury psychiatrist knows what to do to help improve your child’s mental health during back to school month. Good psychiatrists always have actionable mental health tips for parents and mental health advice that leads to quick results.
Anxiety, stress, and sometimes depression happens a lot around the start of every new school year. It’s your job as a loving and responsible parent to help your child transition smoothly. Start prepping them a week or two before schools open.
Make sure to watch what they’re doing on social media. Also, keep them engaged. Know if anything is troubling them. Ask probing questions, and you’ll be surprised how much you can learn about them.
If they’re going through depression, consider consulting with a Sudbury psychiatrist. Our psychiatry clinic in Sudbury is all about taking care of your mental health. Contact us now.
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