How to Start School Off Right
(c) VictoryLab Inc. 2018
3 Back-to-School Tips for Students and Parents
As school starts back up so do the early mornings, the heavy workload, and the stress of performing well. Though it might be nice to finally get the kids out of the house and doing something, school takes a toll on students, even more than we assume.
The Mental Health Commission of Canada (CMCC) reported that 15% to 20% of our youth suffer from at least one mental illness. School is one of the leading causes of stress for adolescents, with depression and suicide rates climbing due to factors such as examinations, homework, and deadlines. It’s just as important for parents to pay close attention to their child’s mental health as they navigate through the school year as it is for students to prepare themselves. Starting the school year off right by maintaining strong mental health will help to take off some stress as the year progresses.
Not sure where to start? Consider these helpful tips.
Tip 1: Get involved
The role of a parent is significant in a student’s success, so parents should be involved (but not too involved) in their child’s studies. Research shows that parental involvement increases school success. Doing things like having a positive attitude, getting the student organized, and encouraging them to put in real effort will ultimately help the child succeed. It’s just as important for parents to not be overbearing, however; pressuring a child to be perfect will only increase their stress levels and negatively affect their mental health.
Tip 2: Help ease the anxiety surrounding school
While going back to school may be exciting for some, it can also be extremely nerve-wracking for others, and that’s perfectly normal. Starting a new year at school brings many uncertainties, and for some, not knowing what’s about to come triggers anxiety. Learning ways to cope and manage one’s anxiety surrounding school can help create a positive attitude towards the event. For example, finding time to meet up with familiar peers during the first month of school can help students feel less alone, as well as help with the transition into an unfamiliar environment.
Tip 3: Organize the first week of school
By making time to plan out the week day, students are able to start off the school year feeling prepared. This can be done by fixing a possibly botched sleep schedule, organizing backpacks and school supplies, prepping lunches ahead of time, or taking touring the school during the first week to become familiar with classrooms. Being organized and having an idea of what to expect and can help students remain calm and confident when facing their first day.
With 1 in 5 Canadian teenagers seriously considering suicide, it’s so important to prioritize a student’s mental health above anything else. Ultimately, a child’s mental health is more important than their grades. Starting the school year off with a strong mental state and a feeling of support will not only help students be more successful, but keep them mentally healthy, which is the goal.
To find out how VictoryLab can benefit the mental health of students, parents, and educators, click here.
(c) VictoryLab Inc. 2018