How to Deal with Back to Preschool Stress

It seems like just yesterday that the beginning of summer, with all its promises of long days and fun evenings, was upon us and the thought of going back to school was a distant one. Now though, with most schools back in session for the fall, parents are probably seeing the impact of the stress of back-to-school on their kids.

Whether it’s more tantrums than normal, trouble going to bed, or being generally cranky, kids often act out their stress in their behavior and leave parents wondering what they can do to help ease their preschool stress. 

preschool stress
Image via Unsplash/ pan xiaozhen

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We talked to the experts from The Goddard School about what parents can do to ease back-to-school stress and here’s what they had to say. 

Talk to your children about school. 

Remind your kids about what they love about school and share with them the fun things they’ll get to do throughout the school year. Don’t overwhelm them with too much information, but do your best to share some upcoming highlights that will get them looking forward to school each day instead of stressing. 

Read a story about another child who worried about going back to school. 

Often, kids can work out their stress through hearing stories and relating to the characters in them. Consider stocking your shelves with books about kids who have some back-to-school stress like Countdown to Kindergarten by Alison McGhee.

Make it about them – not about you.

Avoid making worrisome statements, such as “I will miss you when you are at school” or “It will be lonely in the house without you.” 

Talk about what your children will experience and not about yourself. You can say, “I’ll be smiling while you are at school, knowing how much fun you are having!” When you convey your worry to your kids they’re likely to pick up on it, when you convey your excitement instead they’re likely to pick up on that. 

Shop for back-to-school items together. 

As the school year progresses and your little one needs a refresh of school supplies or fall clothes, consider shopping together to build excitement about school and minimize any current school stress they’re feeling. 

{ MORE: Packing School Lunches Has Never Been Easier }

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Make sure they get plenty of sleep!

Little kids need their sleep, and when they don’t get it big feelings of stress and worry are more likely to overcome them. Prioritize a good routine and an early bedtime and you’ll likely see your little one thrive as the school year progresses.

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How to Deal with Back to Preschool Stress

Julia Pelly has a master's degree in public health and works full time in the field of positive youth development. Julia loves hiking after work, swimming during the summer and taking long, cuddly afternoon naps with her two sons on the weekends. Julia lives in North Carolina, with her husband and two young boys. You can find more of her work at JuliaPelly.com ... More

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