How to Reduce Back to School Anxiety
As the first day of school approaches, you might notice your child or children talking and asking more questions about what the first day of school will be like. Many children feel a sense of excitement as they get ready to meet and see friends again but many children worry about who their teacher may be or if their best friend is going to be in their class this year, etc. Feeling anxious about school starting is normal. Here are a few helpful tips that may help your kids ease back into the school year.
Tip #1 Incorporate a Daily Routine
Over the summer it's easy to become lax in daily routines and letting the kids sleep in a little longer and stay up later at night. Before school starts, you’ll want to start establishing a routine again. This includes waking up at the time your kids would need to normally get up to go to school, eating a good healthy breakfast, and going to bed at a more normal time in the evening. Anxious children may have a harder time easing back into a routine so helping them prepare in advance will set the tone for the day they go back to school.
Tip #2 Have a Trial Run
In the days leading up to school starting, act as though you are going to school and be ready to leave the house at the time you will need to leave for school. This will help you work through things that might be causing discomfort to your child before the first day actual starts. This could even involve going to the school and letting your child walk around the school or campus, look at their classroom and even meet the teacher if possible before the first day. All these things will help relieve any anxiety your child might be experiencing before that first day of school.
Tip #3 Let Your Child Help with Preparations
Involve your child in the decision-making process of what to pack for their lunch, selecting the clothes they will wear the first day of school, and even letting them help you shop for school supplies. Allowing your child to either help you make a few key decisions or have the opportunity to make their own decisions, will help them feel like they are in control and part of the decision-making process.
Tip #4 Talk About Feelings and Fears
Talk to your child about going back to school. Find out what their feelings are or if they have any fears. You might find your child has a lot of worries or reservations so don’t try to reassure them that everything will be just fine. Rather listen to them and validate their concerns and let them know they’ve got this, and they can handle anything that comes their way that first day or week of school. Emphasize the positive in your discussions with your child. You’ll want to reassure them and building up their self-confidence. This is really important in helping to relieve some of the anxiety for your child. Most importantly show and tell your child that you love them and care about them. Offer kind words and encouragement and even write them a note on that first day of school. It will go a long way.
Tip #5 Remain Calm and Be a Good Example
The first day back can always be a little crazy and hectic for everyone. So, you’ll want to do everything you can to remain calm. The calmer you are the better that will be for your child. This will help them worry and stress less that first morning as well. Be sure to say good-bye and tell them to have a good day and offer a hug and other words of encouragement. Don’t linger too long as it’s important they have time to see and talk with their friends before the school day starts.
The first few days back are always hard but at the end of the day be a good listener and let your kids talk. Ask them about their day and find out about what they were most excited about. Also, offer words of encouragement again if the day or first week doesn’t go as planned. As long as your child knows you are on their side and that you care, that will go a long way in helping and supporting them. Encourage them to focus on the positive aspects of their day as opposed to the negative as sometimes it is hard to find the enjoyment in the day especially if there has been a lot of worries.
Good luck to everyone for back to school! If there is ever anything we can do to help, don’t hesitate to contact us anytime.