Parents are often asking how to minimize any back-to-school jitters that their children may experience, and we thought presenting a few ideas that have worked for other families in similar situations may help.
Take a look at the ideas below that can have a positive impact on the start of your child’s new school year. Don’t forget to actively listen to any concerns that they may have, and whenever possible, talk through them and work out a solution together.
Back to school jitters for parents
Late summer is the perfect time to work on building your child’s coping skills as the start of a new school year can be an anxiety-producing experience. The more you encourage them to talk about their nervousness the better. Sometimes just saying things out loud can be enough. Your child may fear that their teacher may not like them or that they won’t make any friends. These tips will help to allay some of those fears.
Attend meet the teacher events
When your child is able to meet the people who they will be interacting with before school begins it can go a long way toward easing any discomfort that they may be feeling. It makes a lot of sense to attend any Open House or pre-school event that your school hosts.
In addition to allaying any fears that your child may have, it is also a good time for you to meet their teachers and begin to form a connection with them. If your child has any allergies or ailments or requires any type of accommodation this is an appropriate time to have those needs addressed. You can also mention to the teacher, discreetly, that your child is feeling a bit uneasy about the start of the new school year.
Schedule play-dates before the school year starts
The Open House is also a great opportunity to meet the parents of the other children who are in your child’s grade. Take the time to speak with them, and if it feels right, suggest a play date for your kids to get to know each other a bit more before school starts. When they feel like they already have a “built-in” friend, your child will feel a lot more secure about starting the new year.
Playdates don’t always form fast friendships immediately, but they are a great way to help your child spend some time with another student who may be feeling the same way that they are. Just having a familiar face to say hello to on the first day can make a huge difference in how your child’s first day unfolds. Should the two children become close friends all the better, just don’t but too many expectations on your child for the outcome of the get-together.
Create a checklist for materials
Choosing their supplies for the year can be a fun activity for any child. Another great activity is to plan a few lunch options for the first week of school. Take your child with you when purchasing their supplies and make the shopping outing a fun way for you to spend time together. Allow them to choose the supplies that they want while adhering to the list of required items. Favorite colors, action stars, and other distinctions are a great way for your child to get excited about school. Make shopping for school supplies an outing with lunch or another special treat before or after. Having something to focus on rather than all of their fears can help your child get a handle on their anxiety and relax a bit more.
Make the time leading up to the new school year as exciting as possible. Answer any questions that they may have as best as you can, and let them know that their nervousness is normal. Remind your child of other “firsts” that they’ve done and how comfortable they felt after just a day or two in the new environment. Positive reinforcement and understanding are key in such situations like these.
Back-to-school jitters are just part of the process for many students. By addressing their fears head-on while also suggesting strategies for overcoming their fears is usually enough to help them feel more comfortable before the big day!