Ease Back-to-School Jitters with These Helpful Tips
Summer is almost over and starting another year of school can cause some unwanted anxieties and jitters in our little ones. In fact, our big kids can feel anxious too! Follow these helpful tips to get them through the stress of starting another school year.
Be sympathetic to your kid’s fears. Don’t poke and tease and don’t pressure them to be “brave”. Accept their fears and anxieties and openly discuss how they are feeling. Be sure to tell them what they are feeling is completely normal and allow them to openly discuss why they are nervous or scared. A little understanding and love can go a long way.
Give Them Control
Give your child a little control of their situation by letting him/her make their own decisions on when to buy supplies, what to wear the first week, what to wear for picture day, etc. You can even take a field trip to the grocery store and let your child pick out what he/she wants for lunch and snacks. Another helpful idea is to take him/her on a test run of the bus route or bike route. Teach the meaning behind road signs and show landmarks so they have a sense of location and timing of the trip.
Keep Communication Open
Once school starts, check in with your child on a daily basis and ask how things are going. Change it up and ask different questions each day. If Monday is gym day say, “Hey, how was gym today?” If Thursday is library day, ask to see the books he/she checked out and read them together. If your child is having concerns with other children or schoolwork, be sure to openly discuss those items as well.
Keep Your Anxieties to Yourself
As parents, we too can feel a little anxious about the kids going back-to-school. Getting back to a schedule, making sure they have all the supplies they need and making sure sleep habits are in check for early rising are just a few worries parents can feel before the 1st day of school. Our jitters and worries can be felt by our children so be sure to express your feelings in a mature manner and try to keep your anxieties in check while you help them with theirs.
Go for a Tour
Take advantage of the meet-the-teacher night at school and go on a school tour if possible. Set up a good time for your child to visit the school independently and introduce themselves to teachers, walk through their schedule and find their locker.
The key is to be there for your kids and give them what they need to be independent and secure. Back-to-school jitters are something we all experience from time to time. Once your kids feel supported and loved through this stressful time, they’ll feel more confident to get back into the swing of things.