Transitioning from summer to going back to school can lead to feelings of school anxiety in children. This can happen if your child is going to school for the first time, or transitioning to another school year.
As a teacher of ten years, there are 3 tips I have seen to be very effective with easing your child’s anxiety of going back to school.
Ease Your Child’s Anxiety of Going Back to School in Three Easy Steps
The secret to making a child feel comfortable is seeing the adults around them modeling confidence. Paring that with the child’s natural desire for fun is the winning combination for avoiding any possibility for back to school anxiety and helping your child love going back to school. Start with these three steps!
Be a Role Model By Showing Enthusiasm
Young children pick up on their parents’ feelings and fears. So modeling confidence is the first and the best way to help your child feel at ease with school.
I remember my grandma surprising me at the door the summer before I was about to enter 1st grade. She was holding a new backpack in her hand. She let me know how excited she was that I would be a 1st grader in the Fall. She told me how proud of me she was as I already knew so much. Her face was glowing with enthusiasm!
The sparkle in her eyes kept the memory alive for the next 30 years. Now 30 years later, I still remember that moment. I forgot the backpack. I will never forget the enthusiasm and my grandma’s face. I was completely accepted and trusted. School was going to be a cool thing for me.
As a child that made it easy-school sounded like a great adventure that adults around me were enthusisatic about. Nobody show enxiety. So naturally I didn’t feel school enxiety.
It is really that simple. Be relaxed around your child. Show enthusiasm! They will pick up on that!
Use Books To Aid Enthusiasm
I am a firm believer that books are a great way to teach young children. I have many posts in this blog paring a book with a difficult life situation for kids. There isn’t a life lesson that has not been portrayed through a cute story kids can relate to. Relating to these stories is very important in child’s education. This is how they learn about the world and grow.
You can use that as a parenting tool when you prepare your child for back to school and want to ease their school anxiety. Reading books with great stories about animals and funny characters who are also preparing for their first day of school is a great motivator for kids. It makes them feel comfortable.
Here is a list of some great books about going to school to get you started.
- Miss Bindergarten Gets Ready for Kindergarten (Miss Bindergarten Books)
- On the Way to Kindergarten
- The Night Before Preschool
- The Night Before 1st Grade
Use Your Child’s Favorite Character
Using your child’s natural interests is the best way to avoid school anxiety.
To illustrate that I will use a story of my nephew who is now a 1st grader going on 2nd. When he was about to enter 1st grade he felt uncomfortable about leaving home and going to school. He was not at ease with the idea of going to a strange place in the Fall.
The solution? He is a great fan of Star Wars. So what we did was purchase a bunch of school supplies with Star Wars theme. Suddenly he was no longer a student. He was a hero waiting for the Fall to show off his Star Wars attire! Problem solved!
What does your child like the most? Who is their favorite character? Can you find school supplies that match their natural interest, therefore easing their enxiety?
You are you child’s first and most important teacher! All lessons learned at school really start at home. Have a great school year and have fun with your little one!
What Have You Used Successfully With Your Child to Ease Back to School Anxiety?
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