Five top tips to help kids deal with back to school stress

    The Psychology Foundation of Canada & Desjardins Financial Security
    partner to promote stress management strategies for families.

    TORONTO, Aug. 22 /CNW Telbec/ - What better time of year than 'back to
school', to address the importance of teaching children to manage stress
effectively? Despite what a surprising number of parents may think, the fact
is that too many environmental stresses early in a child's life can have some
negative physiological effects on his/her overall long-term development.
    Parents and caregivers are in the best position to introduce children to
life-long stress management skills. Going back to, or starting a new school,
can trigger stress in children. That's why arming children with effective
strategies to help them manage this time of transition is a wise time
    According to Dr. Ester Cole, psychologist and past Chair of both The
Psychology Foundation of Canada (PFC) and the Ontario Psychological
Association, "Any time of transition, including back to school, can create a
range of emotions in children, including worry and stress. Helping your
children with reliable information and a few simple tips on how they can have
control over their everyday lives often helps put things into perspective for
the family as a whole".
    The Psychology Foundation of Canada offers five top tips for parents and
caregivers to help families at back to school time:

    1.  Start preparing your kids for school at least a week before. For
        example, shop for necessary school supplies, arrange some fun social
        times with new classmates, practice the route to school, have them
        review some of the school material from last year, and get them back
        into a school-time sleeping schedule.

    2.  Prepare a "Must Know" list for the school and teacher. The list will
        provide important information for the teacher, school office, or day
        care staff, such as allergies, illnesses, physical limitations, or
        any necessary accommodations that might need to be made, such as the
        best seating arrangement for your child in the classroom.

    3.  Listen carefully and respectfully to your children when they talk and
        watch for possible signs of stress. Watch for these signs - such as
        disturbed sleep, headaches and/or stomach pains, a lack of appetite
        (or eating more than usual), anxiety, or poor concentration - both
        before school starts and for several weeks after school begins. Don't
        forget to ask your kids if they have any concerns or worries about
        the new school year, then follow up on their concerns and provide
        information, reassurance and problem solving help, as needed. Remind
        your kids that you are there for them at all times, even if they have
        gone away to university or college.

    4.  Be careful not to overload your child with too many competitive
        activities outside of school. Sometimes the best cure for stress is
        just to have some quiet time, or to have them be involved in a
        variety of non-competitive activities in the community or at home,
        such as walking the dog or volunteering at a community centre. Doing
        nothing sometimes is fine too!

    5.  Finally, be a motivator. Be positive about school with your children
        and help them feel it's a good experience. Monitor and manage your
        own stress level so that it does not create more anxiety for them and
        so they can pick up some good stress management techniques from you

    Through a series of information campaigns and upcoming events this fall,
the partnership between PFC and Desjardins Financial Security will aim to
create further awareness of important mental health issues in the workplace
and at home, by providing sound stress management strategies that can be used
by everyone in the family - including children.
    If you would like further information on stress management strategies,
parenting, work-life balance or PFC's Kids Have Stress Too!(R) program, please
visit: or


    Managing to Manage Workplace Stress: Make Your Workplace Great! With
    Dr. Steven J. Stein

    When: TUESDAY SEPTEMBER 25th, 2007 from 7:30am-9:00am, Toronto
    For:  CEO's, HR Professionals, EAP Specialists and other senior
          organization Decision-Makers
    Registration: Required
    Further Information: Krista Saleh at

    The Struggle to Juggle: Top Stress Management Strategies for You and Your
    Family With Dr. Steven Stein and Featuring Information from PFC's Kids
    Have Stress Too!(R) Program

    When: TUESDAY SEPTEMBER 25th, 2007 at 12:15pm and 1:15 pm, First Canadian
          Place (FCP), Toronto
    For:  Open to the Public, FCP Gallery (Located at Street Level, East of
          the Adelaide Main Entrance)
    Registration: Required. Register online after Labour Day Weekend, 2007 at

    (Media are invited to attend. Please RSVP to Krista at or 416-878-7004.)

    About Psychology Foundation of Canada

    The Psychology Foundation of Canada (PFC) is a national registered
charity that supports parents and strengthens families through a number of
initiatives including creating educational resources, developing training
programs for professionals, and delivering community-based education. Founded
in 1974 to promote the understanding and use of sound psychological knowledge
to better people's lives, the Foundation is guided by a Board of Trustees
comprised of psychologists and business and community leaders. PFC's programs,
like Kids Have Stress Too!(R), Parenting for Life and Diversity in Action,
help Canadians better understand how to manage situations and relationships
more effectively at home, school, community and work. To find out more, or to
order materials, please visit PFC's Web sites at

    About Desjardins Financial Security

    Desjardins Financial Security, a subsidiary of Desjardins Group, the
largest integrated cooperative financial group in Canada, specializes in group
and individual life and health insurance, and savings products and services.
Every day, over 5 million Canadians rely on Desjardins Financial Security to
ensure their financial security. With a staff of over 3,700 employees,
Desjardins Financial Security manages and administers close to $22 billion in
assets from offices in major cities across the country, including Vancouver,
Calgary, Winnipeg, Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, Quebec, Levis, Halifax and St.
    Desjardins Financial Security is committed to improve awareness of mental
health prevention through a number of partnerships as well as its annual
Health is Cool! survey. To find out more information about the Health is Cool!
survey and other mental health promotion initiatives, please visit our Web
site at

For further information:

For further information: Media Contacts: Krista Saleh, Program
Consultant, The Psychology Foundation of Canada, (416) 878-7004,; Isabelle Truchon, Communication Consultant, Desjardins
Financial Security, 1-877-750-8700, ext. 8668,

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