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A Positive Year

Starting The School Year On The Right Foot

A Positive Year

As anyone would tell you, the past few years have been anything but easy. Adding a worldwide pandemic on top of the stress and challenges of everyday life has made it a challenging few years to say the least. Summer is a time for both parents and children to escape reality for a few months of easier living – vacations, longer days, and sunny weather. It’s normal for both you and your child to feel nervous and even hesitant to get back to the stress that comes with the start of the school year. 

So, what can you do to start the school year on the right foot? Practice makes perfect! Read on for 3 things you and your child should be practicing for a successful start to the new school year:

1. Positivity 

The best way to have a more positive year is to have a more positive attitude. That’s easier said than done but practicing positivity in little ways throughout your daily life can help. At the start of this school year, have both you and your child start a gratitude journal. This can simply mean writing down one thing each day that you’re grateful for, both big things and little things. Talk with your child in the coming weeks about the upcoming year and come up with a list of things you’re both looking forward to like joining the soccer team, getting to go on the 8th grade field trip, overcoming stage fright to present to the class, or even just getting to have a locker this year. Finally, while mornings can be hectic and rushed, they can also be a time to set your intentions for the day. Over breakfast both you and your child can share what you hope to get from the day. Something along the lines of “I’m going to have a great day and feel confident about my math test.” Just something to encourage you that whatever you’re facing that day, you can handle it! 

2. Communication 

A huge part of success simply comes down to communication. This year make a conscious effort to practice clear, helpful, and honest communication. Start in your home by setting communication goals for your family. This may mean getting a dry-erase calendar to hang in a frequented spot in your house that details where every family member will be on what day. This can help avoid last-minute panic over who is driving to practice or overbooking yourself. Maybe try to initiate a family dinner at least every Sunday night where you can review the week ahead as a family. In addition, that communication can also be brought to school. Start the year off by communicating openly to your child’s team. No one knows your child better than you and often teams are appreciative to learn more about your child (and your family!) through you. This can also give you the opportunity to share your communication preferences and learn the preferences and expectations of your child’s team. 

3. Self-Care 

Our last tip is to practice self-care! The best way to ensure you have a good year is by taking care of yourself mentally, physically, and emotionally. Make it a goal to go for a hike as a family each week to get outdoors and get some exercise. Enlist the help of your child to help you with a new healthy recipe you found for dinner. Create a relaxing bedtime routine for both you and your child that includes stopping device use and giving yourself time to unwind so you sleep better and wake up refreshed. And every now and then, with the help of a babysitter or family member, take some time just for you to catch up with friends, go for a walk, whatever you need! If you find yourself struggling, consider seeking out professional help. 

There’s no way to totally avoid the stress of back-to-school and the overall challenges that come with life but there are ways you can be better equipped to handle them! Let us know what works for you in the comments below.

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