Back-to-School Blues

Angie Monko - Saturday, September 01, 2012
Back-to-School is a difficult transition, especially for the kids.

I think it's easier for parents because they get their routine back.  I've noticed my teenage
girls (16 and 17) were very resistant to going back this year. It feels like a loss of freedom,
a loss of the lazy days to sleep in late in the morning, a loss of staying up late, hanging out
with friends, watching movies and eating popcorn, a loss of carefree time to swim, suntan,
and a loss of the delicious luxury of a simple schedule. Our kids want to grow up so fast and
be an adult.  I know I did. 

Sure, there are wonderful things about being grown up, but with it comes a lot of responsibility.
As adults, we have to juggle the schedule.  There is nothing more stressful than a schedule in
transition, when it involves "losing" time and tightening the schedule. My schedule feels like it's
in transition.  It feels too restrictive, like I'm a slave to it, serving it, instead of the other way around.
So I plan to scale back on doing yoga 3X weekly and do P90X at home instead, saving me
the commute.  I may ease up on my requirement to meditate daily for one hour.  Too much of
anything is still too much, even meditation, if it causes me to feel stifled. I can time block things
that are important to me and then stick to it.  This just means I set aside time and don't book other things.

Often the hardest part is getting something on the calendar AND then not letting others' agendas
cause me to take it off. According to Lisa Hammond and BJ Gallagher, the "Golden Rule for
Women" should be this:  "We need to do unto ourselves as we do unto others." It's real easy
as women to put everyone else first and forget we have needs to.  The same goes for our children
who have a myriad of demands placed upon them, especially once in high school. They get so
much advice about needing to be involved in extracurricular activities, getting good grades in their
classes, excelling on the ACT exam, all to get into the college of their choice and get as much
financial aid as possible.

Lots of performance pressure and pressure to people please.  It's no wonder they get ADD.
So what can we do as parents to help minimize their stress and make it an easy back-to-school
transition?  Talk to them.  Let them know it's normal to feel a little anxious and sad about returning
to school (it that is the case). Let them know to NOT resist these feelings but to honor them by
getting extra rest, relaxing when they feel like it and within reason, eating healthy, and exercising,
basically a good self-care routine.   Remind them to take it one day at a time and ease back in
to school life.

They don't have to figure everything out today.  You might suggest they begin to keep a gratitude
journal (after you do too :)) in which they write down 5 things daily they are grateful for.  Get them
focusing on what they do right and what is going right in their life.  It is amazing the shift this
can create. Lastly, discourage perfectionism.  Let them know that perfect is the enemy of done.
Sure, they need to put forth their best effort, and most important of all, they need to take a healthy
attitude with them to school.  Learn in a way that really makes sense to them without simply
memorizing, make friends, have an attitude of service, and have FUN!

In no time at all, the Back-to-School Blues will melt away, and your child will be back in the
swing of things.  Be patient with yourself and your kids during this time.

PS:  If you’re really serious about creating your most magnificent life, click on the attached to see
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Much Love & Blessings,

Angie Monko
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