Back to School Blues

Summer is a time for relaxation, travel, family, friends and so much more. But, when it gets close enough to the new school year it can bring a lot of woes.

Why is it overwhelming? I think the massive amounts of information that students receive from the beginning of the year are extremely overwhelming. If you look at academic information alone, you’re talking about where to find assignments, notes and class materials, when and how to turn in homework, projects, tests and papers- some of it is in digital format in varieties of platforms while other is in classic books, handouts or printed materials. And from the first day, teachers introduce the actual course content with the expectation of immediate recall. On top of that, you have the extracurricular activities: sports, clubs, etc., learning how to navigate the campus, learning names, and the entire social scene. Let’s face it, figuring out who are your friends and how you fit in takes the forefront in the first weeks of school so all that academic stuff takes the backseat. By the time you realize it’s important, you’re already behind.

Parents take on a lot of responsibilities - but there are ways to combat the stress with something that can help! Do not be afraid to talk about your struggles! Parenting is hard! Not all kids are naturally gifted in executive function skills, just as not all kids are naturally musically inclined. As a community we need to get over the stigma and the shame of brain differences. The more we openly talk about what challenges and solutions we have found, the more we can learn from each other.

From personal parenting experience and with clients, I think that it’s good to have a clear picture of some long term goals before starting the school year. With coaching it’s also good to have some basic structures in place with systems that you’ve already tested and like. Once the school year begins, the planning and time management have to kick into high gear to avoid crisis mode.

Not all children benefit from a coach, but an enormous amount could from having an accountability partner that is not a parent, but one a child can trust. We all want to be optimistic and believe that each new school year is going to be different, but if your child has struggled in the past or had large obstacles with certain areas, don’t wait for the first quarter grades to come out before thinking about your options. If your child has a deep desire to improve his skills and the maturity to envision long term goals, consider coaching. After all, you want to be a nurturing parent, not a nagging one.