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Back To School Emotions

The Emotional Rollercoaster That Is Back to School Season

back to school
Elementary Students on School Bus

It’s August, and you are suddenly hit with a wave of emotions. You’re excited, you’re anxious, you’re nervous, you’re overwhelmed, you’re sad, you’re happy.

It must be back to school time, and you must be a mom.

This can be a tough time of year. On the one hand – you made it through summer! You probably have some battle scars and could use a few extra hours (or days) of sleep, especially if you have younger kids, but you made it.

On the other hand, going back to school is hard – for parents and kids.

In the weeks before the first day back to school, emotions are at an all-time high. Schedules are made, bedtimes are enforced, and the reality that summer vacation is over really starts to hit home.

Your children probably don’t want summer to end at all, and are dragging their feet when it comes to getting ready to go back to school. As a parent, you’re likely exhausted from a summer of having your kids at home full time, and getting over the hurdle that is the first day of school feels like a task too daunting to think about.

For most parents, back to school means a host of extra tasks and responsibilities that are piled on an already overflowing plate. Stress mounts as you check and double check lists of school supplies and make sure everyone knows what time the bus will be coming on the first day of school. There are pickups and drop-offs to be coordinated.

Emotions can range from excitement to dread, depending on how old your kids are. Younger kids might be feeling excited, especially if it is their first time attending school. Their parents are likely sobbing while they look at baby pictures, wondering where the time went.

Older kids might feel nervous, especially if it is a transitionary year and they are heading into their first day of high school. Their parents might feel nervous, too. With the high school years come more intense academics and athletics. College applications and acceptance (or, unfortunately, rejection) letters. Not to mention figuring out how to pay for it all.

There can also be a feeling of fear, both for parents and kids. Will your kids make friends? Be bullied? Be the bully? What about their grades? Will they be able to keep up? Will they be able to balance their full schedule of schoolwork and activities? Will you? It’s normal to feel anxiety at this time of year.

But there’s also something magical about it, too. A new school year is a new beginning. It’s hard not to feel at least a little optimistic and excited. So snap those back to school pictures and be proud of your child on their first day of school – whether it’s their first day of kindergarten or first day of college. You helped them get to this point, and you should be proud!

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