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Ease Your Child’s Back To School Anxiety
A new teacher, new kids, new bus, perhaps a new school…going back to school or starting school for the first time can induce fear and anxiety in kids of all ages. Help your child manage those feelings and worry less about what’s to come by following these helpful pointers:
- Start with sleeping and eating well, and following a routine – Make sure your child is getting enough sleep and enough nutritious food to eat in order to get through a full school day. Start a ‘getting ready’ morning routine several days before the first day of school, so that it is familiar by the time school actually starts.
- Listen – Just listening, allowing your child to vent and offering support or possible solutions can help a worried child.
- Give your child a ‘preview’ – Attend a school tour or orientation so your child can see what the school and classroom look like ahead of time, meet the teacher, maybe even some of the kids in the class. This takes away some fear of the unknown.
- Remind them they are not alone – Especially if your child is going to school for the very first time, it’s helpful to remind them that everyone in class will be new to each other, and each experiencing the same thing.
- Schedule special bonding activities the first week – Put aside time to spend with your child after school for the first week, which is usually the toughest time. Have family dinners, movie night, a shopping trip, or extended story time before bed. This lets your child know you are there for them and that school is a positive thing.
- Help with social situations – If your child is worried about making new friends or who to play with at recess, try scheduling get togethers with kids from their class before school start, or role play with them to show them how to approach new friends.
- Focus on the positive – Steer your kids away from worries by directing them toward what they are excited about instead of what they are afraid of.
- Need more help? – If it seems your child’s anxiety is beyond your help, contact your pediatrician for support and options.
For more great ideas to help with this exciting time in your child’s life, take a look here and here.