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How to Cope with Back to School Stress

The school year presents an opportunity for a fresh start, getting together with old and new friends, new accomplishments and exciting activities - a measure of growth. A new vibration can be felt in the air.

Instead, in many households anxiety, stress and even sadness reign. Parents need to bribe their children with fancy knap sacks, jazzy school folders and lunch boxes, not to mention the back-to-school clothes to take the sting out of returning to school.

The problem with school, any level from pre-school to college, is labeling. Children wear their scarlet letter grades as badges of honor or shame. Early in their education children are labeled B-Student, C – Student, ADD, AD/HD, LD, OCD, Obese, etc. Once a child is labeled, expectations seem to fall in line with that label. Ironically in spite of the labels parents harbor unrealistic expectations and become disappointed. The children absorb that disappointment and live down to the lesser image. They begin to feel inexplicably unhappy and irritable eroded by teachers and parents. Children soon experience stomachaches, headaches, insomnia and more frequent colds.

The start of a new school year provides an opportunity for a new spiritual beginning, a change in perception. At this very moment parents need to create a home environment conducive to empowerment and the philosophy of the little engine that could. Parents need to choose to see their children in a positive light. Affirm them even in thoughts because children are mind readers. We need to stop anticipating their worst, and visualize their best. They will respond by being happier, healthier and the best that they can be - now. So, if your child does not get the lead in the play, don’t look at him or her with anxious eyes. Instead listen to what your child is really saying: “Mom, I was chosen to clap and cheer in the audience.”

Here are some suggestions to take the stress out of school as you help your children build up self-esteem:
Debbie Mandel, MA is the author of Turn On Your Inner Light: Fitness for Body, Mind and Soul, a stress-reduction specialist, motivational speaker, and a personal trainer. She is the host of the weekly Turn On Your Inner Light Show on WHLI 1100AM in New York City , produces a weekly wellness newsletter, and has been featured on radio/ TV and print media. To learn more visit: www.turnonyourinnerlight.com


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Content copyright © 2013 by Debbie Mandel. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Debbie Mandel. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Debbie Mandel for details.



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