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Back-to-School Blues 4: How to Find Joy (Amidst the Mayhem)

written by Liza Bennigson, Associate Director of Marketing and Communications

Theme four in our Back-to-School Blues series, how to find joy (amidst the mayhem), reminds us of what’s important in life and that it’s OK to eat cake for breakfast. (OK, I just made that last part up).

The goal of the “Back-to-School Blues” series is to help ease this bizarre transition for the whole family, with actionable tips from CHC clinicians that you can implement immediately to bring a little calm to the daily chaos. Previously, we’ve covered how to set up your “homeschool” (for success); how to empower your kids (to control their own distance learning destiny); and how to stay balanced (when your head is spinning).

Today’s tips come from Ann Lyke, MEd, CHC Educational Specialist and Shirit Megiddo, MS, CCC-SLP, BCS-CL, Speech-Language Pathologist.

Tips for finding joy

  • Play hooky now and then. Take a day off to do something out of the ordinary. A CHC clinician took her kids to “Disneyland” and they rode virtual rides all day from the living room (no lines!) Have a picnic in a fort. Paint with water on an outside wall of the house. Declare it to be “Inside Out Day” and wear your clothes inside out, eat dinner for breakfast and breakfast for dinner. Have fun and remember the joys of being a parent. This is what your kids will remember more than multiplication tables.
  • Make a list as a family of all the things you look forward to doing once it’s safe (e.g., going to a restaurant, movie theater, amusement park, or on vacation, having friends over, etc). Start planning and preparing (e.g., saving money, researching museums, sending a party invitation with the date TBD). It’s helpful to have something to look forward to and a great way for your child to practice executive function skills as you organize and plan for the future.
  • Create a family “staycation jar” where you each add slips of paper with suggestions of simple staycation ideas (e.g., camping in the backyard, picnic in the living room, dance party in the kitchen). Agree on how to earn one—good behavior, academic achievement or surviving another week of online classes!

Also, this is hard. It’s OK to have good days and bad days. But be alert to signs of depression or anxiety in yourself or your child and seek help as needed. You are not alone! (Literally. Ever.)


To schedule an evaluation or to get advice about your child’s challenges, call or email a CHC Care Manager at 650.688.3625 or careteam@chconline.org

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