It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year…Or Is It?
August is here, which for many students means the end of vacation and the beginning of the back-to-school season. For some children, this time of year is met with great anticipation and excitement. For others, however, they feel a great deal of anxiety. The anxious feelings can be experienced by people of all ages, from Ph.D. students, to high school seniors all the way down to your little one who is starting school for the first time.
School Has Changed
Schools can often be a battlefield unbeknownst to parents. The clothes you wear, who you sit with at lunch and more can all be the difference between smooth sailing to an anxiety-ridden experience for your child. As a parent, you wouldn’t even know it. So, as a parent how can you help relieve some of the back- to-school jitters?
Tips for Overcoming Back-To-School Anxiety
First, if it’s possible, you should attend all the orientation sessions that your child’s school holds. For your high school graduate who is about to start college, attending the orientation sessions that some schools present can help because they can get better acclimated with the campus while also meeting other first- year students who are most likely experiencing the same anxiety as your teenager. You will also feel better leaving them on their own after visiting the campus and checking out the dorm or apartment where your teenager will live.
For younger children, attending events such as open houses and orientations can help them get familiar with the layout of the school. It’ll also give you and your child a chance to meet their teachers before the school year starts, and ask any questions you all may have.
Another suggestion is to expose your child to the morning routine a few weeks before school officially starts. Doing this will help get your child used to waking up for school, and alleviate the pressure of the first day because they’ll have some familiarity with the morning routine on school days. Child psychologist Golda Ginsburg says that you can use morning routine charts that can help reduce your child needing reminders from you, which can help build independence.
By following these tips, we hope that your child’s anxiety will be reduced. Having daily conversations with your child or teenager about what’s going on with them at school can help you as a parent get a better grasp on what causes anxious feelings in your child. Then, with this insight, you can create a plan of action with them to help reduce anxiety.