How to Cope With Back to School Anxiety

Going back to school can be both exciting and scary all at the same time!  Not only for the kiddos, but also for us parents!  Addressing the cause for the anxiety upfront and quickly can make the returning to school process much easier and enjoyable for everyone.

Some tips to deal with those back to school worries –

  1. The Basics - Be sure that they are rested and getting enough to eat.  I know this sounds simple, but just by making sure they are getting enough sleep and enough to eat can help make sure that they are not restless and can stay healthy.  Creating routines will help ease their nerves as well, because familiar routines helps keep all of us calm.
  2. Sharing their Fears – Encourage your child to share what they are nervous or anxious about with the new school year.  Sometimes saying their fears out loud can help to identify them and to work on resolutions to those fears.
  3. Problem Solve – As a parent we want to reassure our kids that everything will be fine and they don’t need to worry.  Try to NOT do this…yes I said NOT do it.  Instead try to problem solve with them, such as asking “Let’s think of some ways you could handle that situation.” Or “If (blank) happens, what could you do?”  I love this, because it gives them control over a situation that they before felt they had no control.
  4. FOCUS ON THE POSITIVE! – So, simple, yet sometimes the hardest thing to do.   Try to encourage your child to re-direct negative thinking towards positive thinking.  “What are three things that you are most excited about on your first day?”  It is okay that it’s recess or going home at the end of the day, but hopefully you will get a meeting my new teacher or seeing a good friend.
  5. Pay Attention to Your Behavior – Kids mirror what we as parents say and do, even when we don’t think they are watching.  Create an air of confidence, and show that you are comfortable with the new school year and excited to see what is in store for your child.
  6. Prepare – Start preparing for the first day of school the week before.  Start working on a schedule, talk about what they wear, what they can take for lunch, will get their school bags packed and ready.  Anything to help them feel they are ready to start. 

Good luck to all those kiddos and parents starting a new school year!  If your child is still anxious or nervous those first few days, tell their teachers.  Our teachers are our greatest resource and they want nothing more than to help our kids be successful.  Let them know what is going on, and they can help make those first few days much easier.  Above all, praise your child for the brave behavior.  This is a first of many anxious and new situations, when they learn early how to overcome them they learn lifelong skills in problem solving.

Written by:  Tami Lorch, Marketing Manager and Mom of 4

Reference:

Helping Your Child Cope with Back to School Anxiety. (2017). Anxiety BC, (), .            Retrieved from https://www.anxietybc.com/parenting/helping-your-child-cope-back-school-...