Back-to-school stress affects parents, too

In a few short weeks, your child’s new sneakers will have scuffs, and his new school shirt will likely have a streak of marker across the chest. The excitement of the new school year will have worn off, and the day-to-day grind of early morning wakeups, homework and after-school practices will have begun to take its toll.

It’s normal to feel some stress, but when those feelings start to affect you on a deeper level or affect the temperature within your home, it’s time to take a step back and evaluate. Read on to learn more about key areas where the staff of Refinery Counseling Center can help after the new school year’s honeymoon period has worn off.

Building resilience

New school years bring new challenges for our kids. We won’t always be able to protect our children from the many ups and downs of life, so it’s important to give them room to struggle. A trained counselors can help parents navigate the delicate balance of providing healthy support while also building necessary resilience in children, teens and young adults.

Giving yourself grace

Parents and caregivers are the gatekeepers of the home. That role includes the responsibility of prioritizing which of the many tasks are urgent, and which can be postponed for a later time. After prioritizing your family’s to-do list, give yourself grace to complete the urgent tasks first and let some of the less-important things go. When parents get caught in the trap of thinking everything is urgent, we see clinical levels of burnout and stress.

When you create the same expectations for yourself that you would expect of others, you are practicing self-compassion. It’s also important to forgive yourself for past shortcomings or mistakes and keep moving forward.

Recognizing your own stressors and how they affect your home-life

After a long day, sometimes those workplace stressors carry over once we’re home, especially when you add in hours of homework or hurrying to get to afterschool practices with all the correct equipment in tow. Then, throw in trying to prepare a healthy dinner and prep uniforms for the next day and it’s easy for stress to overtake those evening and weekend hours. A counselor can provide support and coaching to help you leave work at the door and be more fully present with your family.

Finally, it’s so important to ask for help when you need it. Refinery Counseling Center specializes in helping children, adolescents and adults who are facing anxiety, depression and stress, trauma, parenting struggles, college and ‘20-somethings’ stressors, marriage and relationship counseling and help with life transitions. Call 225.277.6454 or visit online at