Dr. Robi Ludwig: How to transform your back-to-school stress and turn it into a positive

When the carefree days of summer come to an end, it can be difficult to dive back into a scholastic routine equated with pressure and demands. Going back to school is often a stressful time of year for both parents and children.

One study found that being a parent is more stressful for mothers than it is fathers, anyway.

According to Kelly Musick, an associate professor of policy analysis and management at Cornell University, mothers experience more stress than dads because they are more involved with the day-to-day parenting tasks society expects of them.

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Another recent survey conducted by the Kiddie Academy found that 62 percent of mothers have the hardest time in the family when it comes to dealing with the first day of school. This stress is a lot more common than you’d think, especially for mothers of younger children.

It makes perfect sense. Parents are trying to make their child’s life happy and comfortable as they head off to school, and they want to make everything as perfect for their children as they can.

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Parents suddenly find they must be very pragmatic and check off all the items on the school supply list.

It is the parent who must acclimate their children to the early to rise school schedule.

Life might be stressful in the moment, but that doesn’t make it unmanageable. Try to turn your negatives into a positive.

Parents have to create an upbeat attitude in their children toward school so they can feel comfortable. All these new routines after a relaxed summer are enough to spike anyone's stress hormones. This anxiety often stems from a basic belief that we are not able to control or resolve stressful situations. It’s this feeling that causes us to question our capabilities, overestimate potential dangers, and to doubt positive outcomes.

For the mother who is sending her child off to school for the very first time, the fear she feels on her child's behalf is very real.

Will her child make new friends?

Will the pressure cause too much stress?

Will his or her new teacher be kind and nurturing?

Will their child feel safe and be safe?

These concerns are not easy for any parent to manage, especially for new moms.

The reality is that going to school is a rite of passage all kids and their parents need to experience. It is a milestone moment that can be filled with understandable worry. Still, it’s important and healthy for children to get into a regular routine, to achieve moments of independence and to develop a sense of self-reliance when away from home.

As the school year begins, it’s essential to keep in mind some trusted ways to combat this common "back to school angst."

Remember, kids will often reflect parents' feelings, so it helps to try to take things one day at a time. Realize you are not alone. Most parents and children are a bit nervous at the beginning of the school year.

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Having said this, It is important for parents to put a calm perspective on re-starting school. The calmer and more positive the parent, the more comfortable the child.

In order to feel more relaxed, know everything will come together. Don’t overdo it. Take a step back, take little breaks, call another mom-friend who is probably also going through a similar experience.

We know stress can be harmful to our well-being, so de-stress by having a relaxed and positive conversation with your child about school.

Contact friends and family members who are supportive and positive people.

Focus on all the good that school life can bring both you and your child.

Life might be stressful in the moment, but that doesn’t make it unmanageable. Try to turn your negatives into a positive.

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Going back to school can also be an exciting time and provide moments to look forward to such as going to interesting classes, meeting old friends, making new ones, and joining school activities. With wise parental guidance, every child can have something to get enthusiastic about.

When you figure out what to look forward to, even the most stressed-out parents and kids can reduce their concerns and transform the stress of a new school year into exciting new moments filled with lots of possibilities.

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