The start of a new school year can be exciting for most kids, but can also potentially cause an increase in anxiety. A new classroom, teacher, and the prospect of making new friends, can be intimidating and stressful for your child. The goal is for parents and guardians to be supportive without amplifying your child’s concerns. Here are a few tips to help kids manage their worries and have a successful start to the school year.
- Get back into a routine. Set realistic bed times, have regularly scheduled meals, and pick out tomorrow’s clothes.
- Arrange a play date. Spending time with a familiar peer during school transitions can help increase your child’s comfort level and ease the adjustment period.
- Visit the school. Rehearse the drop-off procedure and tour the classroom to familiarize your child with their new routine. If your school hosts an open house, make sure to take the time to meet your child’s teacher, as well!
- Validate your child’s worries. Acknowledge that a new activity or experience can be difficult, but will soon become easy and fun.
- Bring a comfort object. Whether it’s a stuffed animal, blanket, or a favorite sippy cup, having a reminder of home can ease separation anxiety.
- Resist surprise visits. Once you’ve left your child, resist the urge to go back and check on them. This can actually increase your child’s anxiety.
- Stay positive! By remaining calm and assured, your child will read your cues and be more confident as a result. These times of stress are normal and with a little patience, your child will soon adjust to their new routines!