3 ways to reduce back to school stress

The new school year is full of excitement and challenges. Young people may worry about fitting in, liking their teachers and not being in the same class as their friends. 

As parents/guardians we have lots to consider – making lunches, homework, extra-curricular activities, after school care and the dreaded mornings. 

Let’s face it – being back at school can be a lot for everyone to deal with. 

Establish Routines Early

The beginning of the school year is a perfect time to establish a new rhythm in your house. Routines help you and your children develop self-discipline and feel more confident. They can reduce or eliminate power struggles and teach your children to take age appropriate responsibilities. Routines are about establishing healthy expectations for everyone.

It’s OK to ‘feel off.  We all do. Having a routine helps you get back on track.

Since I travel with my presentations, coming up with a schedule for taking our son to the bus and picking him up from school needs to be figured out in advance. Each month my husband and I create a schedule of who’s doing what each day. This gives us peace of mind especially in the mornings – we all know how crazy they can be! 

tips to help with your morning routines

  • Create an evening ritual that ensures everyone gets to bed at their scheduled time. Taking on the day is much easier when everyone has had enough sleep. 
  • Allow enough time in the morning to get ready, eat and chat in an unhurried manner setting the tone for the rest of the day. 
  • The night before have your children help prepare lunches, choose their clothes and pack their bags. This alone will increase your mental well-being in a very positive way
  • Create a morning checklist and see how much time it takes to get through it. Then adjust until it works.

Let’s be honest – these won’t ALWAYS happen. Allowing yourself to get stressed over your routines and worrying whether or not they are being followed everyday loses the benefits you are trying to create. Learning to be flexible with your routines is important. Flexibility builds resilience.

Handling Emotional Outbursts

There’s a lot of change and uncertainty that comes with the new school year. Stressed children can be more reactive to their emotions and take them out on others.

Helping your child deal with their emotions can be challenging, especially when you are also feeling overwhelmed, frustrated and even exhausted.

It’s important to remember that being able to identify and release emotions in a healthy way is an ongoing process.


  1. Listen to what is bothering them without trying to use logic to get them to feel better.
  2. Help them name the emotion  they are experiencing. 
  3. Give them examples of what they can do to move through their emotion in a healthy way


Life might feel a little crazy at the beginning of the new school year, making it extra important to set aside time with your family.

Spending time together will help your child feel supported and better able to handle stress which will help them bounce back from any challenges they may encounter.

Limit TV and technology. Instead, play games, read together or take a family walk. 

Take time to sit down together for a meal and share about each other’s day. A great way to start a discussion is to have everyone answer the question How did you make a difference today?’  

Neither you nor your child will forget the meaningful times you spend together. 

Until next time,