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  • Writer's pictureDr. Laura Olivos

Mental Health Tips for Back to School

Dear Superhero Parents,

As we grow closer to the school year, we wanted to share some tips to help promote socioemotional well being for you and your little ones:

1) Although we want all of our kids to achieve academic success, we want to also prioritize good social skills and increase their ability to cope. You can express to your little ones that their ability to be kind, express feelings constructively, and be okay with imperfection is equally if not more important than an A+.

2) Create healthy routines that are realistic and can be flexible when needed. Children thrive off of structure. Using little visual charts can also help them feel mastery over daily tasks.

3) Integrate a mindful break before homework begins. Think of a child’s brain as a fuel tank for cognitive and emotional resources. A child needs to recharge after a long school day. Go for a walk outdoors, give them music to lie down and listen to, a sensory activity, or do something that is comforting to them.

4) Make room for 1:1 connection through play. Many parents I work with often forget the last time they sat on the floor with their little ones to engage in their imaginary world with them. Play can actually create neuronal connections more rapidly than other traditional teaching methods. Play is also how a child communicates their inner world. If you can spend a good 15-20 minutes doing this everyday, this could make a big difference for them.

5) Don’t forget YOU! In this beautiful routine you’ve created filled with making lunches, helping with homework, and taking care of everyone’s needs, where are you? I know it’s not realistic to think that self-care is a daily trip to the spa, but even if it’s a quiet moment alone in the shower or turning on your favorite diffuser, do it! We encourage you to prioritize filling up your own precious resources needed to make this school year (and parenthood in general) a successful journey.

Here’s wishing you and your family a happy and mindful school year!

Dr. Laura

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