Back-To-School Mental Health Tips To Help Your Child Win

African American woman and child school workGoing back to school can be stressful for both parents and students. In addition to adjusting to new schedules and shopping for school supplies, kids often face anxiety over reentering the classroom. Here are some ways parents can help students (of all ages) navigate those emotions as they head back-to-school.

“While parents receive extensive support, and are familiar with preparing their children’s physical health for going back to school,” Ian Tong, M.D., Chief Medical Officer at Doctor On Demand and Clinical Assistant Professor (affiliated) at Stanford University Medical School, tells BlackDoctor.org.

“They may not always feel as prepared to address a vital component of their child’s well-being–their emotional health,” he continued. “Often, this isn’t a topic covered — parents may not realize the importance of addressing mental health on their child’s well-being.”

Dr. Tong shares six ways parents can prep their children mentally for the school year ahead.

Plan and practice your routine. 

“There can be a lot to keep track of when school starts,” said Tong.  “Practicing the daily routine can help your family make a smooth transition.” For older children, “a part of their routine could include setting aside time each day for homework.” This will prevent kids from building a nasty habit of procrastinating. Tong also advises, getting back on a schedule at least a week before school starts if “bedtime enforcement has become less strict over the summer.”

Curb anxiety before it starts. 

“It’s normal for children to have first day jitters,” said Tong. One way to combat that anxiety is to “visit their school and meet with the teachers. You can also create a simple goodbye ritual to help reassure your child.”