It's easy to dismiss your child's back-to-school blues as just not wanting the summer fun to end. On the other end of the spectrum, a "blah" response to the new school year can sound alarm bells about not being academically motivated.
In reality, however, heading into a new school year is the single largest transition children face. We tend to forget just how much time they spend in this whole other world away from home. As my son said after his first day of kindergarten when I went to wake him for school, "Wait, this is every day?"
Having anxiety around this shift does not mean your kids are uninterested in learning or even that they don't like school — the fall just represents a big change for all of us. We can all use some additional tools for heading into new situations. Simply encouraging our children to check in and notice their breath in and out, and how they are feeling in their bodies, creates a feeling of calm that can have lasting benefits.
Doing simple yoga exercises with your child can also be a fun way to put mindfulness techniques into action and incorporate more ease (for both of you) into this new season.
Five-pointed star pose
This pose lengthens and opens the body, improving circulation and building confidence.
Press down through your feet. Reach your arms wide.
Balancing poses require focus and concentration, which supports a calm mind and body. Focus on one point. Lift your foot behind you and balance. Then switch feet.
The Cloud Journey Visualization is a way to support a child with normal back-to-school worries to use his or her own imagination to calm both mental and physical stress in the body. This guided visualization also offers a child choice in terms of what she creates in her mind — which is empowering in difficult moments — plus, kids love it!
Lie on your back with your hands by your sides. Take a deep breath in, and let a long breath out. Imagine you are lying on a white, puffy cloud. Feel how good it is to be there. Breathe in. Breathe out.
This pose opens the hip flexors and releases tension. Bend your knees into a squat, roll your shoulders back, and press your palms together.
This pose is a great full-body stretch anytime and can feel very grounding. Press your palms and feet into the earth as you lift your hips toward the sky.