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Mightier as a back to school transition tool

by Jessica Ragnio, MSW, LICSW, and Associate Clinical Director at Mightier

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The start of the school year can come with a number of different emotions for kids – anxiety, excitement, overwhelm, and pure exhaustion. These sorts of feelings can make school really tough. Anxiety might mean kids are nervous to participate in class. Excitement might mean it’s hard to sleep the night before. Overwhelm might mean shutting down in the middle of the day. Exhaustion might mean a meltdown as soon as they get safely home.

As you help your child prepare for heading back to school this year, here are some ways to use Mightier itself as a transition tool. 

Get in some extra practice. Since Mightier works by helping kids practice calming down while simultaneously completing a task, it helps prepare them for that same demand in different settings. Getting some extra Mightier time over the next few weeks is a great way to prepare your child to calmly handle upcoming school stressors.

Play at school. Does your child have specific subjects or times of day that are more difficult than others? Whether your child feels stress, anxiety, or over-excitement during the school day, it can be helpful to build in some moments of calm before and after those activities. Some kids bring their Mightier kit to school, and have a teacher-approved plan that lets them play for 10 minutes when needed. This can help kids focus and feel calmer, meaning they’re better able to attend to whatever subject or task they need to. 

Use cooldown strategies. If your child has been playing Mightier for a while now, they probably have one or two favorite ways to bring their heart rate down. Whether they favor deep breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, mindful tracing, or crossing the midline, these strategies translate easily to school. Mindful tracing might as well look like doodling. Deep breaths are easy enough while waiting in line. Progressive muscle relaxation works well while just sitting at a desk. Your child might also have a cooldown strategy all their own, or creative ideas for how to calm down during the school day. Talking through these is a great way to help them prepare.

Take Mightier breaks. Lots of kids feel calm right after playing Mightier. It’s a great way to reset, focus on your physiological state, and have a little fun. Some kids benefit from that sort of break right before school or right after. Some could use it right in the middle of the day or before bed. Mightier breaks can be used on an as-needed basis, or built into a daily routine. 

Play the long game. In January 2022 we asked Mightier parents to rate changes in their children’s school-related anxiety, frustration, and overwhelm since starting the program.

70% said their child’s school-related anxiety had improved.

72% said their child’s school-related frustration had improved.

67% said their child’s school-related feelings of overwhelm had improved.

43% said that their child’s teacher had noticed the emotional/behavioral improvements and had gone out of their way to give positive feedback.

Has your family used Mightier to help with the back to school transition in other creative ways? We’d love to hear about it!

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