In last week’s post I mentioned a future post about anxiety. In all honestly it will likely come up in a lot of my posts…yet another future post!
As much as I have lived with anxiety I don’t ever really remember about being anxious about going to school. But for a lot of our kiddos it is very real. And it breaks my heart for our children but even more so for their parents. I can’t imagine how difficult it is to go through this with your child. So for the next few weeks we are going to talk about going back to school and anxiety. And we’ll keep talking about it because for a lot of our kids it doesn’t end once school has started.
Ease into the year
If you suspect this will be a difficult transition for your child, start easing into it now. Start by walking or driving by school. Then stop by school. When your child seems ready, walk up to the door. I even encourage parents at my school to practice walking in the door. Then walking to the classroom. For my really anxious students, we arrange an opportunity to meet the teacher and see the classroom prior to the first day of school. One day at a time, one step closer to that day of leaving them at the classroom. As hard as it is to walk away, I encourage parents to do just that. As soon as possible. Once we are able to make that separation, we are closer to getting them started in their day.
I know you are worried about the transition back to school and I know you are trying not to share it with your child. Our kids are smart and feel our anxiety. So modeling confidence and enthusiasm is a great way to help your child make the transition.
Share your excitement about school. My nieces and nephew love to hear stories about ‘when we were kids’. What special memories do you have about the first day of school? Share how excited you are for your child to begin the best year ever. Above all, relax. Your child will pick up on that.
Use books to ease anxiety
I am a huge fan of reading books with children that address their current concerns. It allows them to see how someone else has dealt with it and they see they are not alone. Some of my favorites are listed below.
First Day Jitters by Julie Danneburg
The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn
Miss Bindergarten Gets Ready for Kindergarten by Joseph Slate
Wemberly Worried by Kevin Henkes
The Invisible String by Patrice Karst
Is a Worry Worrying You by Ferida Wolff
And if it doesn’t go as planned
Never fear friends there’s always tomorrow. I promise it will get better. Often times when you least expect it.
I will close with a promise to you…..we will love your child as best we can and do everything in our power to get him/her through the day. It won’t be the same as having you there but we will do our best to make it a great start to the best year yet.
If you find you aren’t connecting as a family, allow me to be a resource for you. And remember, you are enough and are not alone.
Be well friends