Homework and headaches go together like macaroni and cheese, especially now that there seems to be so much to do early on. Cathy McFarland knows the frustration all too well. “When Maddie, my eight-year-old, didn’t understand her math homework, she’d cry and get so upset she’d hyperventilate,” says McFarland. Nightly math meltdowns became the norm. “I finally decided that math wasn’t worth ruining our relationship over. I can be the enforcer with piano practice, nightly reading, baths and bedtime, but I don’t need to be the math czar anymore.” McFarland hired a tutor.
If your child is naturally shy, introverted or resistant to change, you probably won’t be surprised when back-to-school anxiety crops up a few weeks before school starts. And what if your typically fearless, hyper-social child suddenly starts to have angry outbursts or impulsive restlessness a couple of weeks before school starts? Could this be a sign of back-to-school anxiety?
A return to school also means a return to routine, but sometimes that weekday morning schedule can be anything but routine. Some days it all goes rather smoothly. Everyone’s out the door on time, clean and ready for the day, required accoutrements in tow - all without any tears. Other mornings you can find yourself in the midst of ‘tantrum-ing’ turmoil of uneaten breakfasts, un-brushable hair, mismatched clothing, half put-together lunches (being complained about before they’re even made), missing schoolbooks and lost shoes. Yikes! It makes for a stress-inducing way to start the day, to say the least. I’ve lost count of the amount of times I’ve found myself looking at the clock having been up for less than an hour and thinking, ‘Only 14 more hours and we’ll all be in bed again. Just get through today.’ Perhaps not the best coping strategy.
Calgary’s Child Magazine © 2017 Calgary’s Child