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Students’ Mental & Emotional Readiness belong on your Back-to-School Checklist

Updated: Jul 2, 2023

Preparing to head back out to school can be a nerve-racking ordeal for teachers, parents and students alike. Even those of us who do not fall into any of the above categories are having anxiety about the perils of the return of school; the main one being the ridiculous amount of traffic. It’s no secret that the coming of the new school term brings on a high level of anxiety for virtually everyone. (But this article is specifically for parents).

As parents who proudly provide only the best opportunities and resources for our children, we are obsessively trying to cross off all the items on our “Back to School Checklist” that our children “need” to be successful in this upcoming school year: new books, new school shoes, new uniforms, etc. But what do these things guarantee to our children? Are the fancy stationery, designer shoes and brand name backpacks going to promise student success and academic achievement? Forget the booklist. Among your top priorities in back to school preparation should be determining whether your child is mentally, emotionally and physically ready for the new school year.

If you are no stranger to my writing, you will know that a major suggestion that I give to parents for almost everything school and learning-related is having healthy, open discussions with their children. As we prepare to head back to school, we need to really check-in with our young ones. There are many scary things happening, even for us as adults, such as the ongoing pandemic and emergence of new diseases. Start conversations with your child about how they feel about being in the physical classroom. Explore their perspectives and feelings and most importantly, listen, without dismissing them. As your child opens up to you about their fears, try to be solution-oriented to combat their despair with honest, researched answers. A good thing to do that might make your child trust and relate to you even more is to talk about your own struggles and challenges. Discuss past hurdles and what you used to get over them. Ask your child for his ideas for new challenges that you are currently facing. This not only shows your child that you are interested in her points of views, but it also encourages her to think critically and become solution-oriented.

Having open, honest conversations with your child can help to promote a healthy sense of self and increase confidence; both of which are critical in getting mentally and emotionally ready for school. School presents hardships such as bullying, negative peer pressure and academic challenges. Typically, it’s difficult for students to discuss these matters for a plethora of reasons. Creating an environment in which our children feel safe and comfortable to not only talk to us, but also seek our help and advice, is vital in helping them to find healthy ways to cope and successfully navigate school and life in general.

Remember that a healthy mind resides in a healthy body. Students must also be physically fit for school. Make a proper sleep schedule, healthy diet and regular exercise permanent parts of your child’s life. There is no convincing that needs to be done to explain why these are crucial for overall success in life.

Finally, as you prepare for this new school year, develop a plan for success. Set goals with your child, and not only academic ones but those which will positively contribute to mental, emotional and physical well-being. This plan should focus on enhancing your child’s strengths and equipping him with the skills and tools that he needs to improve on his weaknesses.

If you feel like you do not know where to start with creating a plan for success, please register for our free consultation on T. Garcia Education by clicking this link and we’ll be honoured to assist!

All the very best to you and your little one in this upcoming school year!

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