Back To School Blues: A Family Affair


Back To School Blues: A Family Affair
It's not just Lana Del Rey who's "got that summertime, summertime sadness".

By Jennifer Powell-Lunder, Psy.D. for

It is hard to believe the summer is passing or, for some, has passed by so quickly. Few things surpass the initial excitement of going back to school. The backpacks are, or will soon be, packed, the notebooks are organized, and pencils are sharpened to a fine tip as if anxiously anticipating their first use. The first couple of days back to school always seem to breeze by without a wrinkle. Just as the school year routine seems to be getting under way, however, it is not uncommon for both kids and parents to feel a change in mood; a let down after that initial beginning of the school year energy boost.


While for most folks the summer symbolizes rest and relaxation, back to school can serve as jolt back the reality of routine life. As the first school weeks pass, it is not uncommon to feel as if the outside world is gaining momentum, spinning fasting and with more force. School season represents commitment and activity, often-increased stress because there never seems to be enough time.

Parents and kids may experience the back to school blues for different reasons although, there are more similarities than one might think.


  • Back to routine
  • Miss summer friends
  • Frustrated with homework
  • Pressure of balancing school, work, & after school commitments (activities, sports, etc.)
  • Miss having time to relax
  • Regrets about what did not get to do over the summer (special activities)


  • Back to routine
  • Miss having kids at home
  • Restart of homework struggles with kids
  • Pressure of getting kids where they need to be before and after school
  • Miss having time to relax
  • Regrets about what didn't get done over the summer (special tasks)

In order to successfully push through this common set of blahs it is important to acknowledge that they exist. This can be especially challenging if you and your kids are feeling down. How can you tell if you and/or your kids are experiencing the blues? Here is a list of some common signs:


RELATED: Spending Time Together Like You Mean It

    - Feeling irritable or annoyed

    - Feeling sad and/or sensitive

    - Feeling tired

    - Eating more or less than usual

    - Sleeping more or less than usual

    - Disinterested in activities that you typically enjoy

    - Isolating from others


If you and your kids can relate to at least a few of these symptoms, it is likely you have a bout of the blues. It is important to note that the back to school blues are directly associated with the start of school and usually resolve a week or two after the start of school. If you or your child has been experiencing these symptoms for a while, it is recommended that you talk to a professional counselor.

This article was originally published at . Reprinted with permission.
Latest Expert Videos
Must-see Videos
Most Popular