Going back to school or work after all the fun you’ve had over the summer is definitely not the best feeling in the world. However, it doesn’t have to be that bad. In this article, you will find out how to get excited about autumn and handle the end-of-summer anxiety.
The Reason for Back-to-School Anxiety
Psychologist Sarah Spannagel, PhD, says that children are so overwhelmed with classes, homework, after-school activities, and even part-time jobs that it’s normal for them to get anxious when it’s time to go back to all of that. What parents can do is help them realize whether they feel excited, nervous, or both. This can significantly reduce their stress. Something that might help is reading back-to-school books or buying school supplies.
The end-of-summer fear happens to parents too. Being busy with school or work activities is quite a task, so everyone feels a lot freer during the weekends and summers. That feeling leads to a sense of “safety” during the summer, says parenting and youth development expert Deborah Gilboa, MD. She also shares that “kids can feel anxious about possibly losing that comfort and autonomy”.
How to Handle the Anxious Feeling
Dr. Spannagel suggests completing any summer duties like homework slowly so students have fewer things to worry about when the school year approaches. However, you should still enjoy summer — so make sure you break it all up into small chunks. She also advises asking your children about their feelings and offering to help them.
Another thing to remember is that adults can have back-to-school anxiety, too. This may even make your relationship with your children stronger and help you overcome the stress together. Take a few hours each Sunday to tackle your tasks together. Adults can meal prep or go through emails while kids start on their homework.
Let the Feelings Out
Gilboa’s advice is to not tell children how they should or shouldn’t feel in stressful situations. Don’t try to convince them that school is great and there’s nothing to be upset about.
By doing so, you might make them think that their feelings aren’t valid. She also says that if your child has end-of-summer anxiety, something about home feels safe, which is a sign of good parenting.
Every generation has a favorite Disney movie or several they like to rewatch every once in a while. But there’s more to sitting and watching when you want some relaxing, fun movie for the evening. They also teach us all valuable life lessons. Although many have figured out those lessons later in life, it’s never too late to pass them on to the children in hopes they’ll embrace them!
Face the Fear Like Nemo
In one Disney classic, Finding Nemo, we’re taught to face our fears and persevere no matter what. Marlin, Nemo’s father, loses him and has to swim through the ocean and all its dangers with his buddy, Dori, to try and find him. He’s a small fish and can’t do much about large sharks or divers that want to catch him, but he goes on! Teach your children to be like Nemo’s dad – go through life and succeed, no matter what happens and how much it may scare them!
Wield the Most Powerful Tool
In The Little Mermaid, there are good and bad lessons, but one important one would help every child be strong and fight for what they believe. We’re told our voice is the most powerful tool we can wield. If you have your voice and speak up when you have something to say, there’s not much that can stop you from succeeding!
Disney Teaches People to Embrace Themselves
Perhaps one of the most important lessons came from the classic movie Beauty and the Beast. We must embrace ourselves, even if no one else does. Belle reads a lot, and people think that’s strange. But she doesn’t care. She continues to be herself throughout the movie, no matter what people say about her. That’s something every child should learn – to do what makes them happy and not care what others will say!
Small Stuff Shouldn’t Get in the Way
Another fantastic Disney movie, The Lion King, teaches us that things happen in life and we shouldn’t be bothered by every little thing. When Timon and Pumba sing “Hakuna Matata”, which means “No Worries” in Swahili, their message is that people shouldn’t let the small stuff keep them down. They should embrace every aspect of life, good or bad, and push through!
Something we can take from Disney movies is that things in life aren’t always as bad as they seem, and we have to pull ourselves together and do what makes us happy. Teach children to embrace themselves, face their fears, make their voices heard, and continue living life to the fullest, even if bad things happen!