With just days before the opening of a new school year, many children, whether attending school for the first time or a seasoned veteran, can get quivers and anxiety about attending a new school, or being in a new grade.
Starting a new year comes with a lot of unknowns, so it’s no wonder that many parents are talking about the anxiety one more of their children is experiencing.
If you have not yet experienced the anxiety with your child that is good news but watch for the clues such as restlessness, complaints about headaches, stomach aches and the like.
Steven Virgadamo suggests you be proactive and consider the following to cut the back to school anxiety syndrome before it begins:
1. Share Your Story
Tell your child about that time in middle school when you were so worried about [whatever] but it ended up being totally okay. It will be proof that she’ll be able to overcome her stress as well.
All of the sitting still that comes with the return of school can wreak havoc on a child’s nerves. To counter that, make sure your child gets plenty of exercise after school. Physical activity in anyone, but especially children, is great for preventing — and alleviating — anxiety.
3. Reset Sleep
If you can, try to adjust summer sleep times to the school schedule one to two weeks before the first day. A sudden change in routine can trigger stress.
4. Make a Plan
For instance, if your child is worried about meeting new friends, have him wear (and look for) conversation-starter accessories. How it works: He spies a classmate with an Angry Birds pack. He likes Angry Birds, too! Ask potential-new-friend if he likes Angry Birds Star Wars. Bond created.