Tears and Cheers: Back to School Emotions

Photo by: Dawn Ashley

Today is back to school day in my neck of the woods.  The backpacks are packed, the outfits picked out, the teachers assigned.  The only thing left for us parents to do is experience the flood of emotions that come with waving goodbye.  Whether our kids are heading off to class for the first time or are seasoned pros, this is an emotional time of year for many families.

I have talked to lots of moms who are relieved that the long, unstructured days of summer are over.  And I’ve talked to many who dread the early wake up times and homework assignments of the school year.  I think most of us feel both the dread and excitement simultaneously.  Emotions can be especially strong for parents of preschoolers and kindergartners, families who have moved to a new town, or parents who have children who struggle socially or academically.

If you find yourself alternating between crying and shouting “Yahoo!” know that the fluctuation is totally normal!  After a few weeks in school we will all be back into a routine, and our emotions will likely return to normal, too.  In the meantime, find support from other parents in your neighborhood or school.  Chances are they are feeling the exact same thing.

Does your child have worries about going back to school?  Read some tips here.

APA offers tips for coping with Back to School Blues here.

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