WASHINGTON - Dr. Shilpi Agarwal says back-to-school stress exists not only in parents but in students as well.
Here are some tips to help kids who are coping with the anxiety that a new school year can bring.
BACK-TO-SCHOOL STRESS TIPS:
- Do a dry run (visit the school so it is familiar again the week or weekend before)
- Give them time to relax after school 15-30 minutes is appropriate
- Don't over schedule right away (Make sure they can ease into the process and don't have millions of sports, activities the first week)
- Talk about the stressors (homework, kids, clothing, etc.)
- Parents get anxious too (recognize your own anxiety)
- If younger, allow them to take a special toy to school that reminds them of home/If older and have a cell phone or email that they check during the day, send them a message to check in
A new year can be a great time to set the bar for your child’s school snacks and lunches
PACK THE BEST LUNCH TIPS:
- Send along a water bottle so they don't reach for soda or juice
- Ask them what they like instead of assuming it is peanut butter and jelly sandwich.
- Pack snacks they can eat around 10 am also as some kids wake up at 6 and don't eat until 11 or 12.
- Avoid the high sodium prepackaged lunches and chips if possible (Pick other alternatives like healthy chicken nuggets or homemade pizza) with popcorn and fruit.
- Remember to wash the lunch box