Head Back to School With Healthy Young Minds

Students are heading into a new school year, with all the friendships, challenges, and connections that come with it. And for families and educators, ensuring a successful year in and out of the classroom means supporting kids' mental health.


Help your kids shift to mindful tech use by talking about their habits and screen time

Back-to-school is a time when kids return to tech to do schoolwork and to rekindle a lot of their social relationships—and their overall relationship with tech can change, too.

What they do in their online lives can help them explore their passions and connect with others, but it can also amplify the stresses they feel every day. Parents and caregivers play an important role in helping kids be mindful of their tech use and protect their digital well-being. 

Here's how you can help your kids:

Do a mindfulness scroll: Together, browse an app they usually use and ask them what they notice, what they think, and/or how they feel when they see different posts.

Start noticing and calling attention to moments when you're distracted by your own device.

Model the behavior we want to help our kids develop.

Be honest and open about how it's hard for you to develop good tech habits, too.

Be a Role Model: 4 Ways to Balance Screen Time Around Children

How Can I Help My Kids Develop Good Screen Time Habits? 

Struggling to keep up with the apps, games, and websites your kids are using? These Parents' Ultimate Guides can help keep you up to date and answer your questions about all the most popular apps. 

Ask if they ever see things online that make them feel unsafe or uncomfortable.

Invite kids to suggest new household habits or family rules that would support their digital well-being.

Tackle the challenge of being mindful about tech together—make it a family effort. And think twice about just taking their device away, which isn't always the best option.

Enter the new rules you come up with in Common Sense's free Family Tech Planners.


Balance back-to-school with family time

Big transitions like heading back to school can be stressful for kids and adults alike. 

One way to relieve some of that stress is to bond around comforting family routines, like a family movie night or listening to podcasts together. Movies, books, and other stories can open a window to discussions around sensitive issues, and characters can become role models for kids on how to handle issues they may be experiencing themselves. Here are some of our hand-picked favorites to make the most of your quality time together: 

Common Sense Education and Harvard University's Center for Digital Thriving have partnered to create a new set of K–12 classroom lessons. They're designed to help kids develop the agency they need to build healthy habits and protect their mental health, like reducing anxious thoughts and building mindfulness. Our other free resources can also help educators champion their own mental health, and lay the foundation for a fun, healthy, and successful school year with students. 

Back-to-School Resource Hub for Educators

This Back-to-School, It's Time to Talk Teacher Mental Health

21 Fun Activities to Start the School Year | Common Sense Education


Learn about what schools and teachers are doing to support digital well-being


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