It’s not unusual for kids to experience the back-to-school blues—anxiety and depression that can range from mild to severe. After all, there are a lot of changes to deal with at the start of a new school year. It’s the end of summer freedom and a return to structure and hard work. Kids will be in new classes, learning new things, with new kids and a new teacher. There are anxieties about measuring up, standardized tests, and report cards. And of course, you can’t forget about the social concerns—which lunch table to sit at, who to hang out with at recess, etc.
But while those things are relatable to students (and former students) of all ages, the unprecedented events of 2020 add a new layer of stress to the back to school season. Kids today aren’t just worried about losing their homework; they’re also grappling with the global COVID-19 pandemic that has killed over 200,000 people in the U.S. alone. They may not be at high risk from the virus themselves, but even young kids know that their parents, grandparents, and other family members are worried and that something big is going on.
That’s why it’s even more important than ever to pay attention to your kids’ mental health. Get proactive. Check out these tips to help you beat the back to school blues.
How to Beat the Back to School Blues
Get into a routine.
Lack of sleep isn’t good for anyone’s mood, so one way to help your kids shake off scholastic depression is to ensure that they’re getting enough sleep. That means a regular bedtime for
everyone in the household (earlier for younger kids, later for teens and adults), as well as limiting bedtime social media scrolling or mobile gaming. The more you abide by the schedule and lead by example, the easier it will be to get your kids to do the same.
Make time for fun.
You’ve heard the old saying, “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.” Well, that’s as true now as it ever was, so it’s crucial to make time for relaxation amidst all of the demands of school, sports, clubs, and work. Roller skating is a great family activity to do in North Tonawanda, and it’s a fun workout to boot!
Look at the big picture.
Remember that grades aren’t the only metric for your kids’ success. In addition to their academic work, it’s important to pay attention to their social lives, sports and extra-curricular activities, how they feel about their teachers, peers, what they’re learning in school, etc.
Talk about it.
If you’re wondering how to do all of that, well, that’s where this tip comes in: Talk about it! If your kids are younger, go ahead and get in the habit of talking with them about their hopes, fears, and worries. For older kids, it might take a little more for them to open up, but it’s still important to be curious and engaged about their lives. The more they feel comfortable discussing the day-to-day stuff, the more likely they’ll be to come to you about larger issues. Are your kids showing any signs of the back to school blues? Join us at Rainbow Roller Rink for a public skate session and lift their spirits!