IT IS completely normal to feel nervous about starting school for the first time or going back to school after the holidays. If your child is feeling anxious, reassure them that is it normal to feel this way. Here are some tips for helping your child cope with first-week nerves:
Let them express their fears. You may have stories of your first-day jitters when you were a child that they can relate to and learn from. Teach them mindfulness techniques like breathing slowly and deeply to calm their nerves. Discuss scenarios that worry them. For example, your child may be worried about who to sit with or talk to on their first day. Help them to plan strategies and rehearse together so they’ll feel confident they know what to do.
The Child Mind Institute also suggests parents check in with themselves too. Kids know when you’re nervous and preparing young ones for the semester can be as stressful for parents as it is for students. By managing your stress, you’re demonstrating to your children how to be calm.
“Often, kids just need a little validation (“I know how hard it is to get to know a new teacher”) to feel better,” writes Caroline Miller for the Child Mind Institute.
For more advice, visit childmind.org/article/back-school-anxiety