Feeling anxious about the first day of school is natural for both children and parents. Supporting your child through this transition from summer time to school time can be tough; however, here are tips and tricks to help overcome those first day nerves and create an easier transition.
Have a Consistent Sleep Routine in Place
-Having a consistent sleep routine can help regulate your child and help them transition into the new routine they will be in during school time. Starting this a few weeks before school starts can also help them prepare and be more comfortable when the first day of school comes.
Comfy and Confident Clothing
-The night before that first day, help your child choose clothing that will be comfortable for them, but also helps them feel confident. Comfortable shoes, favorite t-shirts, fun accessories can all be confidence boosters to help your child feel ready for the new school year.
Engage Your Child in Planning
– Ask children what they might need from you in emotional support or in practical planning. They may come up with some wonderful ideas and their ideas will come back to them during the day when they are most anxious.
Talk Openly About What is Scary
-At this age, it can seem like kids think about themselves all the time, but that doesn’t mean they’re self-aware. They might not know yet what’s making them nervous. And they might have trouble expressing their feelings. Some examples may look like:
“I see you’re a little stressed about starting school. Are you worried about moving between classes on your own?”
Or, “You had a hard time finding a group of kids you liked last year. Is that something you’re worried about this year?
Talk About School Supports
– Remind your child of the awesome support system that’s already in place and of all the people to go to for help. Your child could talk to a counselor, a case manager, the school nurse, or another staff member. If your child has a “go-to” person — maybe someone who helped a lot last year — try to meet with that person before school starts.