Making the Transition Back to School Easier

Returning to school can be difficult for both parents and kids. Therapy Lab has an emotional tune-up plan to make the transition smoother.

The fall favorites are coming soon: sweater weather, Halloween costumes, fall sports, and pumpkin spice.

Oh, and of course, back to school.

For some children, the transition out of summer and into the classroom — whether it’s virtual or real — can be bumpier than a hayride. And that’s perfectly normal. After all, it’s so human to feel stressed in times of transition, even when we’re looking forward to the change. Those jitters, that nagging sense of unease, those worries about exchanging an old routine for a new one, can affect all of us. And they can be present under all sorts of circumstances, no matter how young or old we are, no matter how many transitions we’ve made it through.  

Tune-up required?

It’s not unusual for families to have periods of discombobulation, and these periods can be most pronounced at the end of summer. We’ve let our hair down a bit, and now we have to get back into our best working condition.

Which, admittedly, might take a little work in and of itself. But with the right tools and techniques, it’s easier for parents and caregivers to help the kids they love gain control over issues including anxiety and mood — and get everyone off to a good start for the new school year.

How do I know if my child is anxious about the transition back to school?

No matter how smart they are or how mature they seem, kids don’t always have the vocabulary to tell their parents or other caregivers exactly how they’re feeling. They may even be embarrassed to say something if they think they’re the only one who feels the way they do.

How can you tell if your child is experiencing distress or fear about the new school year? Here are some of the signs and symptoms. You may notice one, two, or all of them, all at once or one after the other.

  • Is your child’s sleep routine feeling a bit out of whack?
  • Is your child emotionally dysregulated—often spiraling into tantrums, heightened emotion, or moments of panic or anxiety?
  • Does your teenager seem withdrawn, avoidant, or less agreeable than usual?  
  • Are screen time or other habits more out of control?
  • Do things just feel a little off?

OK. Some of those sound right. Now what?

First of all, remember this: Transitions can be difficult, even when someone is looking forward to them. It’s part of being human.

Fortunately, there are some basic techniques you can learn to support and help your child when symptoms are mild (clinically significant problems require a different approach). Checking in with a professional can help tweak your family system to make sure it’s running as smoothly as possible. By the way, if you’re feeling like your parenting is less effective than you want, having the skills to help your family reboot as the new school year shifts into high gear can be the confidence boost you need, too.

So, what kind of skills are we talking about?

  • Understanding your family’s strengths and what makes you resilient.
  • Learning calming and relaxation techniques to help everyone cope better with change.
  • Being able to reshape the evening routine for better sleep.
  • Identifying and reinforcing your child’s positive behaviors.
  • Learning how to keep emotions manageable while you solve the problems that created them.

That probably sounds like a tall order and it’s certainly not something most parents can do on their own.

Breathe. We have a plan.

That’s where Therapy Lab (TL) Kids comes in, with a short-term sequence of therapy sessions that addresses a specific goal.

Within an ideal timeframe.

With an upfront budget.

Designed to deliver results.

So, What’s in the TL Kids Back-To-School Plan?

backpack in blue and green shades
  • Review the system. Identify what needs adjusting!  And note what’s unique and special about your family, so you can hang onto that insight for the typical challenges to come.
  • Teach techniques to manage anxiety and stress.
  • Tweak your sleep.  Adequate sleep is your child’s superpower. Let’s either address specific issues or look at the whole evening routine to make sure it’s maximized for homework success, dinnertime joy and connection, and bedtime peace.
  • Parent coaching.  We love coaching parents because parents work so hard, and we want them to work smarter.  Allow us to show you some tricks of the trade to maximize your effectiveness as a parent.
  • Tolerating tough times.  We want to prepare your family with skills to manage the tough times that might arise this year. We’ll teach you a few concrete, effective “distress tolerance” skills from the popular dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) approach that helps people respond to stress and control their emotions.

Ready to learn more or get started?

We have immediate availability and can start empowering you right away. So those lazy days of summer can give way to fall months that are happy and productive.

Book a free welcome call to get started!

About Us

Therapy Lab is an evidence-based therapy platform offering treatment packages to help adults, teens, children, and families meet specific goals. With an upfront timeline, we prioritize structure, efficiency, and results. We measure clients’ progress as we go and apply science-based principles such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) to the therapy process.

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