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Back to School Anxiety

You may be ready to get your kids back to school, but they may feel really anxious, nervous and scared, especially if they are making a big leap in grades, schools or meeting new teachers. This year my son is starting high school. This has had me stressed out, so I can only imagine what he may be feeling this week as he gets ready to start next Monday. I found some great tips that I used to help him through his anxiety and thought I would share them with you.

Talk about the new school year with them often while they are on break. Make it a point to go over any new things they may need to be reminded of. Will they need to remember their locker combination, go to a different classroom, carry more books? Ask them about back to school shopping trips and what types of things they think they will need. Ask them about the new subjects they will be learning in class this year and see if they are nervous about any of them or worry that they may not understand a certain subject. My son was worried about his reading so this summer he read two of his books in a series he likes on dragons. I told him he didn’t have anything to worry about if he read two books this summer. Tell them stories about your school days and how nervous or scared you were. Did you ever forget your locker combination or your school schedule and go to the wrong class? Create some laughs about your memories to lighten the conversation and let them know that everyone is human and makes silly mistakes. Encourage your kids to ask questions about anything new that may occur in their first few weeks at school. Make them ease into this change so that it feels familiar and not something that is thrust on them three days before school starts.

Create a morning routine and start it a few days before school starts. For example, have your kids pick out their clothes the night before and lay them out. Have them help with making their own lunches the night before and find out what they would like for breakfasts each morning so you are prepared. We have had to practice using a new alarm clock this summer so that my son can learn to get up on his own without my help. The practice has been nice and he seems to “hear” this alarm a lot easier than the old one. Fingers crossed it works :)

If you can, invite some of your kids friends and parents over for an end of summer fun picnic and bring up the topic of first day of school with them as a group. This will help your child realize that they aren’t the only one anxious about the new school year and any changes that may take place. Their friends might be just as scared, worried or nervous. Or, better yet, they may just pass along their excitement about the new year to any child who is anxious! This way your child will have some familiar faces to reach out to in those first few days of the new school year.

Remind your kids that it is ok and natural to feel nervous and excited on the first day of school. Let them know that even the teachers are feeling a little nervous and excited too!

What do you do to prepare your child/ren for their first day back to school?

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