Back to school
One of the busiest times of the year for parents in Ireland is in full swing now, getting the kids back to school. The holiday in Spain seems like a distant memory, and the evenings are starting to close in. Our thoughts have turned to traffic jams, school uniforms, the book-list handed out by the schools and what to put in the kids’ lunch box. For many, this is one of the most stressful times of the year.
It is important to become aware of the signs of these stresses, both in the parent and the child. Are you finding yourself being a little curt with your children as you all rush out the door in the morning? Perhaps the child’s appetite seems diminished at the evening meal? It could be a good idea to take a moment to take stock of these things and note them down. It is the awareness that comes before the solution.
For the child, the care free days of summer are over. Alarm clocks ring in the morning, classes seem to stretch forever throughout the day and there’s now homework to be done in the evening. It is an abrupt change and it is important, as much as is possible, to have a stress-free environment for the child at home. This gives them the space they need to enable them to process the emotions, stresses and excitement of this busy time. It is important to take the time to listen to them, to understand their worries, and to create a supportive environment for them to thrive in.
The parent must also take time for themselves. Being aware of the stresses gives you the opportunity to effect the necessary change. A stressed, worried, overly-tired parent is not putting their best foot forward. Having an outlet to process the stresses is important. Keeping up the gym membership, meeting with friends regularly and other such outlets allow the parent to gather themselves and more readily provide a relaxed supportive home for the family.