Reduce School-Related Stress For Children
Back to school can be a time of stress and anxiety in a normal school year. It’s so important to reduce school-related stress for children which can set the tone for the entire school year. There are new teachers, new classmates, new subjects to master, new classroom rules and procedures. It can take time to transition from the unstructured days of summer break and settle back into the pattern of sitting quietly, learning, and test-taking.
Of course, with every passing month this year, we continue to see that we are not in normal circumstances. Not by a long shot. On top of the normal back to school stressors, there are new rules regarding masks, social distancing, lunch etiquette, bus procedures. There are online logins to remember, complicated schedules to accommodate, especially with multiple children. My heart goes out to all of the parents who are under so much stress this year as they try to navigate the different plans that various schools have implemented during this COVID-19 pandemic.
This Back to School Season is Not Like Anything We’ve Ever Experienced
Some schools near me have already started, and many start this week. On the east coast, where my grandchildren live, school will begin after Labor Day. I have seen many versions of what back to school will look like this year, from entire days of e-learning, to various hybrid schedules in which the children attend school on alternating days or for shorter days. Other schools have gone back entirely in person, with strict social distancing and mask-wearing guidelines in place.
Some families have multiple children all participating in e-learning at home, while one or more parents are also working from home. I know one family where the mom is a teacher whose school is attending in person but her three children will attend online in their district. She feels guilty about leaving them at home with a sitter so that she can go and teach other people’s children while they struggle with staying on-task without her. I know of other families who have decided to remove their children from a traditional school environment and home school on their own for the first time ever.
Ways to Help Children Handle Stress
It is important to help children with their new school routines this year, so that they can know what is expected of them. Reduce school-related stress for children by putting a positive spin on all of the differences between this year and last year. One way to do this is to incorporate time for fun and playtime into their schedule, no matter which method of attending class their district has chosen.
Once you have a copy of your child’s school schedule, look for ways that you can schedule a time to let them run around outside, play with toys, be creative, or take a break with you, or their siblings or pets. If your student is attending school from home, you can take advantage of their lunch period so that it still functions as recess and a much needed bit of fresh air and fun. You can also utilize the time that they would have spent on the bus coming home to add some additional stress busting playtime and activity into their day. Whether they have a swing set or a trampoline in their yard, or if they want to play fetch with their canine best friend, getting outside is an integral part of helping them live happy, well-adjusted lives.
Another method of helping children cope with stress is to read with them. According to the American Institute of Stress, “Reading is not only a way to spend quality time with your child, but it can also help reduce stress by lowering heart rate and blood pressure.”
If your children are attending school in person, the ability to remove their face masks and run around outside after returning home will be a welcome part of their day before digging into homework. If you are able to take a break from your work, try taking a walk together or going on a bike ride around your neighborhood. Creating new healthy habits that get both of you moving and your minds off of school and work will be beneficial for both of you.
Grandmas Magic Pillows Can Help Now More Than Ever
If you have read our previous blogs or looked through our website, you know that Grandmas Magic Pillows are designed to provide children and adults with a way to relax your minds and take a much needed pause from everything that is going on. Grandma’s Magic Pillows increase mindfulness and provide children with a wonderful coping strategy that they will enjoy. Using all the resources and strategies available to help reduce school-related stress in children is something the whole family can come together to accomplish.
The process is simple and something that you can do even if you have only 10 minutes to spare. Placing the weighted pillow over the child’s or adult’s eyes signals the body to enter a quiet, relaxed state of being. The gentle pressure calms active muscles and relieves tension. The pillow blocks out visual distractions so that the child can naturally let go of whatever stressors they are experiencing. Most children do not consciously know that they are learning how to meditate, they just know that they love the quiet downtime that Grandmas Magic Pillows provide.
Just like with incorporating fun and activity into your child’s remote learning schedule or their in-person schedule, you can look for opportunities to incorporate downtime with Grandmas Magic Pillows. Many schools have made sure that students are not on the computer all day, so you can take 10 or 15 minutes out of any time you have that is not spent in an online classroom. You can also take this time after school before you begin any physical activity, and use your magic pillows multiple times throughout the day.
Some parents have reported that giving children a short break with the magic pillow between the school day and homework helps give them a time of transition and there are a lot fewer arguments about getting the homework done.
One great option is to offer a healthy snack after the school days ends, followed by 10 minutes with Grandmas Magic Pillows. After that, you can send your student outside to run around and be a kid until it is time for homework, dinner, and the rest of your evening activities.
Remember, my wish is always for you to Be Well!