Back to school blues: How to lower stress for you and your kids

(AP Photo/Seth Perlman, File)

(WSPA) – Every year at this time people have to deal with a lot of change. Kids are heading to new classrooms. Drivers are about to face more traffic with school buses on the road.

It can be overwhelming.

But there are steps you can take to fight the anxiety driven “back to school blues.”

We got expert advice in this 7News school watch.

In two days 7-year-old Paul Cunningham will go back to school at Inman Elementary for the second time in his life.

“I was very very very very nervous,” he said.

That’s how he felt the first day of Kindergarten.

Now, those nerves are back.

“I’m most worried about, is my teacher going to be mean or is it going to be nice,” he said.

Inman Elementary school counselor Katie Mills says calming your child’s anxieties has a lot to do with a parent’s state of mind.

“I have seen in my 9 years some parents who have been visibly upset, and that upsets their children because they’re worried about their parents and they love them and they want them to be OK,” said Katie Mills, the School Counselor at Inman.

You can help lower stress by practicing the first day of school routine with a building walk through, and also talking to your kids about their fears.

No matter what your child’s age, one of the most helpful things you can do to reduce back to school anxiety, is set an early bedtime and wakeup several days before the start of school.

Teacher Leah Rollins has some advice for making that first week drop off go smoothly.

“Make it quick and easy. As much as you want to stay in the classroom and see that they are OK, I promise they’re going to be fine,” she said.

Inman Elementary is trying something new, next Tuesday. It’s a different type of “Independence Day” celebration.

“They’re going to dress in red white and blue, and students are going to get stickers as they come in, just as the whole school team is cheering them on, and welcoming them in to the building saying we’re so proud of you for walking in by yourself,” said Briana Wright, the Assistant Principal.

Fortunately for Cunningham, the up-coming 2nd grader has had good luck, so far.

“Actually all of them were nice,” he said, about his teachers.

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