Beating Back-to-School Anxiety
By Brandi Goodman
The beginning of a school year can bring a lot of anxiety with it. If your kids are feeling anxious or nervous about going, it may be wise to look into the reasons why and discover some options to help. You can help your son or daughter beat back-to-school anxiety with a few tips.
Attend the Orientation Day
Most schools offer some sort of orientation day prior to the start of the new year. Be sure to attend with your child so they get a feel for the school and can see where their classroom will be. It can help to quell their first-day jitters wondering where they need to go and how they'll figure out getting there. You'll also receive some valuable information during orientation that can help you be sure paperwork is complete and everything is ready to go when the school year begins.
Buy Them a Practice Lock
Many older students have lockers that actually lock. A child starting middle school for the first time may now need to use a special combination to get into their locker each day. You typically get one time to go to the school and try out your locker on the day you pick up your schedule. That may not be enough, however, to dull your child's anxiety about having to figure out the lock quickly between classes. Buy them a similar lock that they can practice with at home so they're fully capable of putting their belongings away and keeping them safe once they're at school.
Set a School-Year Routine
In the weeks leading up to the new school year, it's advised to set a school-year routine that can help your kids get into the swing of things. Set an age-appropriate bedtime and utilize alarms that can help wake the household up at the time you normally would for school. Getting into the routine now can help make things less tense when the first actual school days arrive.
Get to the Root of the Problem
If your child is telling you they don't want to go to school or they're feeling nervous, talk to them about it. You need to get to the root of the problem so you can give them the appropriate advice. Perhaps there's a student they don't get along with whom they're worried about seeing. You could remind them to keep their distance and even offer to notify the school that the two students should not be around each other. Whatever the case may be, talking to your child and doing your best to ease their worries is important.
Don't let your kids go to school feeling so anxious and worried that they're nauseous, overwhelmed, and finding it difficult to make it through each day. Offer some options that will help them beat their anxious feelings and keep their mental health in check. It will make it easier to go to school without as much worry.
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