Ah, the start of a new school year. You've spent all summer relaxing and having fun with your kids, so it's understandable that you're feeling anxious about sending them back to the classroom and you may not be the only one who's anxious. With recent violence at schools it's more than understandable for both parents and children to be anxious about returning to school. The uncertainty and all the what ifs are sure to increase the anxiety meters.
Establish routines to avoid future anxieties.
Children, who are already anxious about going back to school, need routines to help them feel safe and secure. Routine helps children feel in control, confident and independent. If you can get your child into a routine, the anxiety will lessen. You should establish a morning routine that includes things like brushing teeth, getting dressed and eating breakfast before leaving for school. Establishing an evening routine will help keep
your child feeling calm at bedtime by including things like bathing or taking a shower and putting on pajamas or night clothes.
Emphasize the good parts of going back to school.
Going back to school can be a stressful time, but make sure to focus on the good parts. The learning, the friends and the play are all amazing parts of going back to school! Don't let yourself get bogged down in thinking about how much work there is that needs to be done. This year will be amazing!
Encourage them to ask questions to a certain point.
Although we may want to answer every question our child asks to help reassure them,
sometimes that can inadvertently reinforce anxious behaviors. Set limits to the number of answers you will give to reassurance-seeking questions. But, it's important that you reassure them that everything will be okay. Explain to your child that it is normal for children and adults alike to be nervous about the return to school. Reassuring your child that you are also feeling nervous may help them feel more comfortable with their own feelings, too!
Don't let avoidance take over.
Sometimes when we are anxious about something we will avoid.Here are some things you can do:
Be mindful of certain school situations and if you believe your child is avoiding the best thing you can do is encourage your child to face the situation.
If there are true fears that cause high distress, it's best to address what those fears are and address the chances of those fears coming to fruition.
Strong support at home and the classroom
Support from parents and teachers. Stressful situations at home or in school can be
exacerbated by the lack of encouragement, support and guidance from parents and teachers. If your child is feeling stressed about going back to school, it may help him or her to have extra support from the people who are closest to them.
Going back to school can be a stressful time for both kids and parents. The most important thing is to remember that kids are resilient, and they will get through this with your help! By making your child's return to school as easy and enjoyable as possible, you'll help make sure they don't become anxious or upset while getting used to being away from home again after summer vacation.