Back to School: Variety in Behavior Changes

The school year often seems to sneak up on us after a summer that goes by too fast. The school supplies begin to show up in the stores long before the summer heat begins to fade. With all this preparation, you may think that kids are ready to back with no issues. While they may be sincerely excited to see their friends and meet their teacher, kids often have some big behavior changes around the firs of the school year. These may vary depending on personality.


You may think that your child slept in a lot over the summer, but the first couple of weeks of school have you questioning their health. Expect some fatigue the first couple of weeks. Even if your kids had a busy summer, the school year brings a schedule change. There may not be extra activity, however, rising at the crack of dawn is a change that can be hard on the body. Your child may come home and fall asleep right after school. As their body adjusts to the new routine, this should wear off. The mental stimulation can also make them crave rest. This is when the body processes and restores.


Kids may decide they want to try out a new attitude with their parents when they move up a grade. You may see some new behavior picked up from kids at school. Stand firm with your household expectations so that your child knows the rules haven’t changed. If this persists, consequences may be in order. Give them some space while they figure things out. Growing up often brings new identity experiments.


If you see that your child is stressed. It may be time to intervene. You may notice that they do not talk about certain people or classes. You may also begin to see some procrastination of their schoolwork. This may be because a class is too hard, but often it is simply a matter of getting them to start the work or having them work with a tutor.

Some kids get really frustrated when they are not perfectly prepared for each day. If you have one of these personality types, start early each evening or you may be up half the night.  Make a checklist for them to look at each night before school and make sure they get ample time to complete homework. These are the perfectionists. Keep in mind, if you bring home a blue folder and the school list said yellow, this is the type of child is going to be on edge and insist go right back to the store.


After a funs summer of staying up late and sleeping in, your kids may have a hard time falling asleep. This may be made worse by after school naps due to exhaustion. It is great if you can start a couple of weeks ahead of time shifting their sleep and wake times. If you are into the school year, however, you may just have to tough this one out. Make some calming tea, quiet the house down after dinner, and stick to a routine.

Back to school can be both exciting and exhausting. Be aware of the different behaviors you may see from your child. This can help you to prepare a plan of action. Get your routine organized as soon as possible. Kids do best when they know what to expect.

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