Back-to-School: Happy vs. Sad


After a pandemic year of at-home school, the start of school this year is going to be an especially big deal for almost all families whether they have a kindergartner, first grader, middle schooler, or high schooler. Therefore, posts for all of August and September will be about back-to-school issues.

The start of school is a big event for children, but also a big event for parents and
caregivers. Is it a happy time or a sad time? For most, it is both.

It’s OK to be happy.

Back to school time for parents and caregivers can mean less childcare concerns, more ability to concentrate on housework or office work while kids are occupied at school, and maybe – if you’re lucky – some extra me-time. (See Me-Time for You Is Good for Your Children.)

It’s OK to be sad.

You may miss your kids, especially if they are going to school for the first time. Be sure to tell your kids that you miss them while they are gone. And, be sure to tell them how you deal with missing them too – maybe you plan an after-school snack for them, play some music that you know they like, or just think about that big bear hug you’re going to give them when they get home. If you are super sad find a friend to talk to about it, and be sure you don’t talk about your sadness to your children in ways that may leave them feeling responsible – like they could make you happy if they stayed home. (See Whose Feelings Are They?)

What do you think?

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