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Sabotaging September and the Start of School

by on Aug.29, 2009, under Behavior, School

As much as you looked forward to school being out last June, there is something to be said for school being back in session in September..for kids anyway. You loved the lazy days of summer–the care free schedule, the lack of pressure, the slower pace. And your children did, too. But truth be told most children often do better during the regular school year, having the consistent schedule that necessarily accompanies school.

But September can be a challenging month. For children there is so much newness and unpredictability–new schools, new sports teams, new teachers and coaches, new classes, new friends. Even returning students feel anxious about new teachers, new classrooms, harder lessons, greater expectations. But it is short lived. While it’s a big load for them, after a week or two, they get it. Given the time and space to adjust, children do fall right back into the school year schedule, and soon they are thriving.

It’s us parents who may not do so well in September. The start of school is harder on parents than it is on children. The pressure to get the kids up, dressed, breakfasted, and out the door…on time!.. becomes your life everyday. And at the other end you taxi each of them to classes and lessons, facilitate playdates and practice and homework, make dinners, run baths, read stories, make lunches, read newsletters, remember trip slips…and fall into bed, only to start all over again in the morning! Then there are school committees and meetings and back-to-school-nights and charities and celebrations…and your own work. It is no wonder that September makes parents crabby. There is just too much to do, too many nights out, too many obligations. And that makes for really crabby parents, parents who are stressed, anxious, and exhausted.

And you know what crabby parents make? Crabby kids! Why? Because your children absorb your moods. And your children need you, regular old you at home.

As you get back into the school year saddle, be mindful of your own stress and anxiety level. Measure the time you spend away from home at night. Be available to your children. Give them as big a piece of you–your emotional time–as you are giving to all your other obligations. After all, aren’t they more important?

Don’t sabotage September. It is your job to be the calm, steady parent your children need you to be. It is your job to provide the home environment that enables them to adapt to school life and thrive…all the way until next summer.

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3 Comments for this entry

  • Jen

    Hi Betsy! I love your website…Regina R. turned me on to your new site.
    I was just looking at my calendar this am and thought WOW- Sept is going to be crrraaazy~ Thanks you for your blog…It is all about perpective!
    I am wondering what age children your parenting book addresses and how old are your triplets? Thanks for all you are doing, we parents need all the support we can get!

  • stress remedy

    Living in a rough neighborhood means going to a rough school. Black kids would pick on anyone who wasn’t Black. They go from classroom to classroom beating us up. Teachers and cops can’t always hold them back. Things always get bloody and the teachers do their best to dismiss us whenever they sense something amidst. These kids came with wenches and knives looking for fights. Two of my best friends were killed trying to escape school one day…. 3 months before our graduation….. It was only me… It was always me…. the death cannot die… That’s enough details.

  • Betsy

    I hope that you are getting the help and support you need, that there are adults in your life (either at home or at school) who will help to keep you safe.

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