The first day of school can be stressful for everyone — students, parents, teachers, and administrators. However, the anxiety students experience is unique. In an attempt to “fit in” they worry about who will and won’t be in their classes, who they will sit with at lunch, and what to wear (after all they want to look good without drawing too much attention to themselves). How can parents help reduce this anxiety?
For starters, it is important to tell your child repeatedly how much you love her, and affirm her in the days leading up to the big day. Pick out clothes and shoes the night before and have the backpack packed and sitting by the door so you aren’t rushing the first morning. Try to remain calm and supportive on the way to school the first day. Use humor to minimize anxiety. Consider letting your child choose what to eat for breakfast that morning or what songs to listen to on the way to school. Make the day special by showing your child how special he is to you!
Don’t forget to talk with your child. Ask them what they are feeling? Normalize their nervousness. Give them tools to deal with their anxiety — deep breathing, prayer, art, and music can all help regulate anxious feelings.
Lastly — relax and enjoy the process. Before you know it, your child will graduate and you will miss these special days.
What do you do to help with the first day of school anxiety? Feel free to comment below and share with others…