As your child goes back to school, there are a few things to remember. School is a trigger for many kids. Coming off a long, lazy summer, some kids will get anxious and depressed. So much is NEW: New teachers. New friends. New classes. New expectations to adjust to. I like to remind them of this Thomas Fuller quote, “All things are difficult before they are easy.”

The first 60-90 days of any new endeavor are difficult. With any transition, there is a rather steep learning curve. That steep curve can disrupt them emotionally. Often executive functioning goes offline. They may struggle with focus, attention, prioritizing, planning, executing and being motivated. They may cry and refuse to go to school. They may forget things. Working memory is often impaired in big transitions. Assure them there is nothing wrong, they are just on cognitive overload. As things become more routine and easier, the executive functioning and working memory will come back online.

In the meantime, keep the faith. They will adjust. Remind them of all the times they have already transitioned and been successful. Highlight their resilience and adaptability. Hold hope for them, even when they don’t feel much hope themselves. Reassure them. They are going to be a big success.