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Published on August 14, 2014

How to Handle Back-to-School Anxiety

Starting school or going back to school can be a source of anxiety for children. Kids fear the unknown, such as new teachers, classmates and classrooms. The transition can be nerve-wracking for the entire family, so get a head start with these tips.

Start the School Day Routine Early: About a week before school begins, practice a daily routine with your kids. Wake up, eat and go to bed at the same time every day. For even more structure, add some activities to the day, like a reading hour, an outdoor “recess” or instrument practice.

Practice Interactions: Role-play with your child so they can develop an action plan for certain situations. Practice behavior in response to bullies or meeting new friends. By preparing in advance, they’ll feel confident they can handle anything, plus they’re more likely to find their first day easier than expected.

Set Up Play Dates: Get ahold of the class roster and invite a few classmates over for a play date. Kids feel more comfortable entering new situations with a familiar face. Don’t forget to arrange play dates with old friends as well as new. It’s important for your child to realize that a new school year does not mean everything will change.

Take a Trip to School: If you can get access to the bus route, practice the drive to school so your child becomes familiar with the route and learns specific reference points. Call the school and arrange a time you can tour the building. Find your kid’s classroom, lockers and the closest bathroom on the floor.  

Get Excited: Above all, remind your child that starting school is fun! Talk about new classes and all the things they’ll learn, playing games during recess and extracurricular activities like sports or music. Together, pick out their first-day-of-school outfit, organize new school supplies and pack a yummy lunch.

How do you get ready for the new school year? Share your tips below!

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