By Guest Blogger: Amy Blankenship, LPCC, TRCC Senior Specialist, Center of Excellence and Child and Family Therapist, Beyond the Classroom

It’s back to school time, which means change and new routines! Children – and parents – have a lot of different feelings happen this time of year: excitement, worry, dread, cheer, exhaustion, and relief to name just a few. We all get stressed during transitions – you are not alone! Here are some tips and tricks to help ease everyone into their new routines.


Be proactive and get organized before the school year starts. Start moving from summer sleep schedules to school sleep schedules two weeks before the first day. Create and communicate expectations that you want to enforce from the get-go. Having backpacks ready the night before, as well as an outfit picked out, can make the morning flow much more smoothly. To help your child remember, display pictures of tasks (or post-its/checklists) at eye level. Start with a few tasks and gradually add more overtime to promote independence without overwhelming your child.


Schedule some downtime. Most families will adjust to the new routine before too long – resting when adapting to something new help keep everyone at their best. Even if you are super excited to hear every detail of your child’s school day, it may be the last thing your child wants to talk about. Don’t take it personally! You can check-in, but also give some space. When big emotions do arise, try to stay calm and empathize with the stress your child could be feeling.


Make the most of it! Mistakes can be made into learning opportunities. Expect there will be ups and downs. The more you can focus on the ups, the more energized you and your family will feel. Call out the small wins, share the strengths you see in your family, as well as in yourself, and celebrate all that is going well. This will not only build confidence but help your family’s mindset about conquering the back-to-school moods.

Related Activities:

Character Strength Coins

Feelings Thermometer

Loving Language

Wheels of Feelings

Tip of the Iceberg