Back-to-school time is a frenzy of preparation for moms, but while we’re busy getting ready, our kids may be feeling nervous or anxious about the upcoming year. But as parents, we can ease their worries and help them feel more relaxed with these pointers from child adolescent psychiatrist Dr. Karen Stewart.
- Remember that going back to school is stressful - It’s important for parents to remember that back-to-school anxiety is real and you can help your kids understand, manage, and overcome their worries. Remind your child it’s okay to be nervous and try to find out what it is they’re feeling nervous about so you can ease their mind.
- Anticipate your child’s needs - Kids want to be reassured that nothing bad is going to happen and Dr. Stewart says it helps to talk through your kid’s worries and let them help problem-solve through them.
- Focus on the positives - Help your kiddos get excited about the school year by talking about good experiences they’ve had in the past. When kids feel more included, they deal with change better, so take them school shopping and let them choose their own supplies.
- Get back into your routine - Start getting them up earlier and getting them to bed earlier a few weeks before the first day of school so it’s not a shock. And if they’re starting a new school, take a tour to find their classroom and bathrooms so they know where they’re going on day one.
- Reassure them - Organize backpacks and set out clothes the night before to make mornings easier. And offer lots of praise and encouragement, especially during the first week, reminding them that they’re doing great and things will get better. A nice note tucked in a bag or lunch box always helps brighten their day, too.