The start of a new school year is exciting for everyone in the family, but it can also lead to a great deal of anxiety. Whether your child is starting school for the first time, moving to a new school, moving up to a new school such as middle school, or just getting ready for a new grade with a new teacher, the anxiety could be there! Going back to school can be a challenge for anyone!
Helping Your Child Go Back to School
There are a number of ways to help your child with the start of a new school year. We were lucky that Weston handled his transition to his current preschool so well. It turned out that it was more traumatic for me than it was for him! That was definitely a blessing for us.
If your transition isn’t going quite as smoothly, here are a few ways you can support your child:
You may feel as anxious as your child. In fact, you might feel even more anxious! It’s not easy to drop your child off for their first day of kindergarten and I cannot imagine when Weston is ready to move up to high school! As a parent, it is important for you to remain as calm and positive as possible. Your child can feel your anxiety so do your best to stay positive!
Let your child know that you care about him or her!
I know this seems like an obvious thing to do, but at the beginning of the year it is important to remind them as often as possible! When I was teaching, I worked in the cafeteria at lunch and saw how much a little note tucked inside a lunchbox could mean to a child. It can help them through the rest of the day!
Be available during the first week of school.
Try to keep your schedule as open as possible during the first week of school. If you can avoid commitments that demand a lot of your time after school, do it! See if you can reschedule things so you are available in the evening to help your child adjust to the new routine.
Eliminate the unknown.
Help your child be as prepared as possible. If there is the opportunity to go to Meet the Teacher night, take the time to go! You’ll not only get the opportunity to meet the teacher but you’ll also have the opportunity to locate the classroom in the school as well as see which desk belongs to your child. In most schools you can also explore the rest of the school and locate important places such as the restroom, cafeteria, and library!
Talk about school.
Listen to your child’s worries about the new school year. Don’t be afraid to acknowledge the struggles of previous school years. Stay optimistic and share stories of your own struggles and successes in school.
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