Now that my kids are back in school, the juggling act between studying, extracurricular activities, and family time has begun. It seems that our family’s efforts to prioritize inevitably lead to feelings of stress, no matter how good our intentions or choices are.
Since I know that stress affects my kids’ performance in school and sports, and the overall well-being of our family, it’s important to do what we can to keep our cool and keep organized despite a hectic schedule.
This school year, Post-it Brand has partnered with the nation’s leading child, education and parenting expert, Dr. Michele Borba, who has developed some quick and simple tips to help students and parents relieve stress.
Get enough sleep.
Waking up early in the morning for school, combined with maintaining late hours for sporting practices, after-school activities or homework quickly translates into exhaustion. “Sleep is fundamental to your entire well-being,” says Dr. Borba. Keeping children on consistent sleep schedule on weekends and school vacations also promotes healthy long-term sleep habits.
Develop a shared calendar
The school year means sporting events, music lessons, after-school activities and PTA meetings all at once. “One central calendar is crucial to keeping everyone on track and remembering appointments,” says Dr. Borba. Try creating a color-coded family command center to keep everyone organized. Include a family calendar for tracking schedules, family note boards for sharing messages and a storage area for saving important documents that will be needed at a later date. Post-it Full Adhesive Notes in different colors are a great way to represent each family member. These notes have a full adhesive backing that holds notes on the calendar longer, but can be removed cleanly and reposted if needed. Keeping track of all the activities will help all family members feel more at ease, reducing stress.
Promote the positive
Children take cues from their parents on how to handle and react to stress. Help promote positive feelings within the family by discussing what’s happening each day while around the dinner table, and by posting handwritten notes of encouragement around the house or in your children’s lunchboxes. Research also shows that praising your child’s hard work and efforts rather than the desired outcome enhances their achievement. For example, aim to give more words of encouragement commending your children on time spent studying for a big test rather than the actual score they receive on that test.
Become familiar with specific stress-reduction techniques
Every person handles stress in different ways, especially when it comes to kids and teenagers. Dr. Borba recommends helping your children pinpoint habits and activities that help them reduce stress, and set aside time to do these activities with them. Your teenage daughter may respond positively to yoga classes as a form of stress relief, while the long, deep breaths required to blow bubbles can be calming for many young children.
What are some of your family’s tools for beating back-to-school stress?
*Disclosure: Dr Borba’s tips were provided to our readers by Post-It Brand. No compensation was received for this post.