Back to School Prep in 4 Easy to Follow Actions (Interview)
Starting off a fresh month and realizing back to school is right around the corner can feel daunting. Thankfully we have a professional with Comprehensive Healthcare that specializes in just that. Info to assist with a smooth transition back to school for parents, kids, teachers, and beyond!
Anna Perez is the school-based therapist team leader and supervisor of all the school-based therapists in the Kennewick School District. She's been with Comprehensive Healthcare for many years and has some great ideas on how to dive right in.
How Can the Parents and Kiddos Do To Prepare?
First, by making the most of what's left of summer! Go on some adventures and soak up the last few weeks of endless days of whatever you choose.
Secondly, making a list of the school supplies and clothing that is needed for back to school. This helps get the child engaged with what's to come and parents motivated to not wait until the last minute.
How to Lower That Anxiety
Knowing the schedule for both children and parents. They've gotten the chance to sleep and wake up when they want to so now it's time to start setting up a more consistent schedule leading up to that first day of school. Knowledge is power so working out how your child will be getting to and from school helps everyone feel more secure with the game plan. Who will be picking them up or are they riding the bus? Knowing ahead of time helps take away some of the extra anxiety. Schools can be huge so getting a chance to walk through and find the classroom or at the very least a map to talk them through it will help them succeed. Knowing how to get to the child's class and helping them plan their route so they know how to get there will help them feel more in control and excited to go back.
Hard Social Situations/New Social Situations
Identifying the support when tough situations arise is key. Having communication with your child every day and being consistent with it will help you notice if they are issues or hopefully help them feel comfortable speaking up. Hard social situations come up all year long so work just as hard to continue to have open communication all the time.
Peer pressure, sports, and academics are a lot. There is so much they are going through so another way to help take the stress away is by creating fun activities that have nothing to do with school during the weekends. A balance of both will help them set up a healthy life full of rest, fun, and education.
The Best of Being Back in School
Time with friends, maybe they disconnected with their peers during the summer. They get to reconnect. Also resources like their counselor, therapist, or favorite teacher. Having consistency for their bodies with a sleep schedule
Crisis Line 1-800-783-0544 for the Kennewick area
FOR CRISIS SERVICES CALL ONE OF THE FOLLOWING NUMBERS IN YOUR AREA:
Yakima County (509) 575-4200 or (800) 572-8122
Kittitas County (509) 925-4168
Klickitat County (833) 407-9286
Walla Walla County (509) 524-2999
Benton/Franklin County (509) 792-1747
Columbia County (509) 876-0626
What Can I Do If My Friend is Struggling?
It's normal to have stress, for someone to share and you can tell they seem to feel a little better afterward. What is not normal is someone talking about suicide or not wanting to come out, seeming quite sad and it doesn't change, that's when it's time to talk to a parent or reach out to a counselor. Speak Up Always.
Remember This Please
Back to school can come with so many good things. We want to encourage youth and students to be successful and for parents, just a reminder. Try and create some balance, a schedule for them. Making sure that they don't have too much on their plate. As adults, we multi-task but children don't need to do that yet. They are still developing and learning so remember to take it easy on them and keep a good line of communication open, always, not just at the beginning of the school year
Checking in with their kiddos every day. Not just in the beginning. The consistency of always checking in and having.
It's going to be a lot of stress. Parents should work on creating other things for a family outing and creates a family balance
Back into time with friends, time for relationships. Having the consistency
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