Back To School: More Than Just Blues!!
By, Amy M. Voltero
Traffic on 93 and 95 are at a screeching halt, as vacationers attempt to beat the rest of their comrades, back to “home sweet home.”
They pack up yet another car, full of children, bathing suits, flip-flops, beach toys and chairs, and the wonderful memories of summer, 2012, yet one more time, anticipating their return, the following year.
The transition from summer to fall is more difficult to master, as would the change from other seasons. Parents rush to the mall or outlets, for school shopping, retail stores entice shoppers with their, “End of summer sale,” while changing storefronts, displays and merchandise, to welcome the fall season.
True, the end of summer can cause back to school jitters for children, but parents as well. Parents spend three months, filled with backyard barbecues, day trips, and a little r&r on the beach, to reward themselves and their children for a job well done, during the school year. These lazy days are replaced by, getting kids back on a rigid routine. Parents then juggle their lives at home, work, children’s schedule, and begin to fear the upcoming months.
Back to school, means the anxiety, depending on what grade your child is entering. Each age comes with a different stumbling block. For some, children entering pre-k or kindergarten, separation anxiety, are the most common.
As children enter higher grades, the pressure of not making sports teams, being popular, picking out the right “outfit”, a larger workload, this means, more homework at night, for both parents and kids. Bullying becomes a worry, how to talk to your children about saying “no” to drugs and alcohol, safe sex, and seeing the warning signs of a child or teen, pushed to the limit are all real issues we as parents will encounter.
The important thing to remember is that children will feel our stress, no matter what age they are. Encourage your children to try new things, and always given them praise for a job well done. I cannot stress how important it is to develop an open relationship with your children. Don’t rely on schools, peers or the media to teach your children. As Parents, our job is to educate or children on the dangers and the severity of real life issues. Having an open relationship, and communicating these issues, such as peer pressure, managing anger and stress, substance abuse, safe sex, talking to strangers, can save children from taking the wrong path, later in life and from possibly taking their own lives.
All too often, I read the paper, and some MIT student has committed suicide from the pressure of college, or just life demands and other’s expectations.
Another common read, Ashlynn Connor, a 10 year old from, Ridge Farm, IL, took her own life, by hanging in her own bedroom closet on November 11, 2011. She was considered, “An All American girl,” an honor roll student and cheerleader who had dreams of becoming a veterinarian. (Courtesy of Michael Inbar, Today Show)
The kids at school bullied her, by calling her a slut, and for cutting her hair, saying she looked like a boy. The day prior to her taking her own life, she had told her mother what the kids at school had said to her. In a brief interview on the Today show, Ashlynn’s mother said, “She never talked about killing or hurting herself.”
National Suicide Prevention Week beings September 9th, through September 15th, 2012. With organizations like this, more parents and children are becoming educated on the signs and how to prevent disaster.
I realize that bringing issues such as these, to light can be a sensitive area for some parents. The earlier we, as parents, begin to become educated, and then the probability, of changing statistics regarding our children, becomes greater.
I wish you all, health and happiness for the upcoming school year!