How to Calm Back to School Jitters
September 4, 2013 | in Nannies
Whether your child is entering kindergarten as a first-time student or preparing for the first day of his senior year, the first day of school is no laughing matter. Youngsters are nervous about whether or not their teachers will be nice, how many friends they’ll make on the first day and their ability to keep up in a new grade. Older kids may share the same worries, along with the added pressure of trying out for sports teams, finding their way through high school for the first time or making their mark when they’re part of a massive student body. There’s no denying it; back to school jitters have always been part and parcel of the education experience, a fact that’s not likely to change any time soon. While you can’t remove the sources of all your kids’ anxiety at the beginning of a new year, there are things you can do to make the transition as painless as possible.
Plan a Visit Before School Starts
One of the most common reasons for young kids to feel anxious or afraid when a new school year is approaching is a simple fear of the unknown. Most people feel a bit of trepidation when they’re faced with an unfamiliar situation, but adults and older kids are typically more adept when it comes to managing those fears than small children. To combat anxiety borne of a fear of the unknown, make a point of taking your child to visit his new classroom and meet his teacher before the first day of school. This familiarity may ease his nervousness when he reports for the first official day of the new school year.
When you have more things on your to-do list than time to complete them, you feel anxious and stressed. Your child is no different, which is why it’s important to keep his schedule at a manageable level. This especially holds true at the beginning of a new school year, when he’s busy trying to adjust to a new classroom and new academic demands. Extracurricular activities and sports may have to take a backseat, especially if your child is feeling extremely anxious over his lack of free time.
Watch Your Mouth
As a parent, you want your child to get good grades so that she can eventually attend a decent college and have a better chance of pursuing a lucrative career path. When your determination to help your child succeed becomes a fixation on academic perfection at all costs, however, you’re actually doing your child more harm than good. The American Academy of Pediatrics even warns against the dangers of unrealistically high parental expectations. Make sure that you’re not fueling the anxiety fire by imposing unreasonably high expectations on your child.
Help Little Ones Understand How to Cope With Their New Environment
If you’re sending a little one off to kindergarten or even early elementary grades, it may be wise to role-play key situations in order to ensure your child knows how to deal with them as they happen. Work together so that your little one is comfortable and capable of communicating bathroom needs, asking for help or introducing himself to new people.
Normalize, But Don’t Minimize
There’s a difference between helping to normalize the very natural trepidation that your child is feeling and minimizing her feelings over the situation. Let her know that it’s normal to feel scared or upset about the first day of school, but don’t make her feel like her nervousness is wrong or that it’s not a valid way to feel.
Take Bullying Seriously
Some fear and anxiety is natural when kids are getting ready for a new school year, but deep-seated fears and a profound worry about how other kids will react to him can be an indication that your child was suffering at the hands of bullies by the end of the last term. If you’re concerned that your child has been the victim of bullying and that it’s the underlying cause of a reluctance to attend school, it’s advised to discuss the matter with him, school administrators or his teacher from the previous year.← What to Include in Your Nanny’s Annual Review |
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