The first day back to school, for me, was usually nerve wrecked.
And up until I hit 6th grade, I was that child who was dropped off with tears. Even if I had some friends in class or had met my teacher previously. By mid-morning, I was usually okay, but my morning tears would continue through the first week of school.
My mom was incredibly patient with me but she also didn’t draw out the drop off. And eventually, I was able to get to school on my own or with a group of friends. Just in case you have a child like this, I’m sharing my tips on motherhood for easing your child’s back to school nerves.
School can be very scary thing for kids, for some more so than others.
10 Tips for Easing Your Child’s Back to School Nerves
1. It’s important to know that fears about school are very common.
So don’t dismiss your child’s fears. Let him (or her) know that many experience similar fears.
However, it’s important to talk about it to make sure there’s not something more going on – like maybe a bully or some sort of abuse. This is rare, but that’s why it’s important to not be dismissive of your child’s fears and be open to communication.
2. Make sure your child is taking care of the basics. Eating and sleeping are still important.
3. Help your child problem solve and come up with a plan to deal with these fears. Ask him, “What’s the worst case scenario of your fear?” Then ask, “And what can you do if that does happen?”
4. Role play with your child. If your child is fearful because of a bully, then try a little role play to help him come up with ways to deal with the bully.
5. Shift your child’s focus. Help your child see the good in things. Find something about school that your child enjoys and have him focus on that.
6. Make sure you’re not adding to your child’s anxiety.
Sometimes our own fears about things can rub off onto our children. You need to make sure you aren’t expressing your own fears with your child. And if you are, then take some time to talk about it together. But make more of an effort to not put your fears on your child.
7. Create a routine. Many times a child’s fears revolve around just not knowing. So create a schedule so your child knows what to expect. It will help transition into the school routine.
8. Go to the school with your child. If it’s nervousness about the school and where classes are, then help them by going to school a few days before to walk around and figure out where classes are located or see the classroom. Take the unknown away and then there’s nothing to fear.
9. Talk to the teacher about your child’s fears and anxieties. Let them know so they can keep an eye on things and help address things, especially if you’re dealing with a bully situation.
10. Don’t pull your child out of school just because of fears. There are many things in life that will cause fear and we have to handle them. So you need to give your child the tools needed to handle these fears.
Communication is going to be key in making sure your child is comfortable with school.
It might take a few days for your child to overcome these fears, so be patient and continue talking to your child and his teacher. You can also speak with your child’s school psychologist to see if it’s just back to school nerves or to figure out if their might be an underlying issue.