Eliminate First Day School Anxiety

Arrival of the end of August and the beginning of September will start the renewal. What renewal is this you may ask? Well, happiness will once again abound in the hearts of many a mom and dad. The rejoicing and the jubilation will be heard by all as parents are seen dancing and singing in the streets, hugging one another.

They will be celebrating the coming of a new and wonderful life not because of money or prosperity, but simply because they received the letter. Yes, the infamous letter that comes in the mailbox or some other delightful form of information indicating which teacher their little cherubs will be having and when they must report to their classrooms. The news, school will be starting quite soon!

Yes I’m exaggerating just a little bit but still the same, many parents I’m sure are quite ready for the start of the new school year. We all know that even the most wonderful child at times can be some what exhausting for many parents.

Occasionally, vacation time brings out the not most favorable behaviors in children and for that matter, the not most favorable behaviors in the parents. Too much unstructured time frequently leads to confrontations and difficulties so needless to say, the start of school can be a blessing for some families.

While the parents may be living on their temporary pink cloud anticipating the new start of the school year, the child may be experiencing the absolute, extreme opposite. The same anticipation that has the parents elated may be creating much first day anxiety for the child. Not all children are very comfortable with change and with the start of a new school year, comes many new and at times frightening differences.

This is not just the case for the preschooler or the elementary student either. Middle school as well as high school children, and yes high school students are children, can experience much school anxiety anticipating the beginning of the new year.

Keeping this in mind, it is the responsibility of the parent or caregiver to make an attempt at quieting down this anxiety and to get their soon to be student to communicate a little more. Not many children are very well skilled at communicating this nervousness about school so you the parent may have to read between the lines.

Pay close attention to the child’s behavior for one. He or she may become more and more irritable with the approaching start or may actually become somewhat isolated. Many times the parents, with all their desirers to prepare for the start of school, inadvertently create more stress than is necessary. With shopping for cloths and supplies for example, this may create a sense of urgency that causes tension for both the child and then, the parent.

Ever try to shop for clothing with a child that’s stressed out or irritable? That’s exactly what you’ll be dealing with many times when a child is overly anxious about school. Some anxiety is expected with most children but the overly anxious child should receive some appropriate attention to help relax this unhealthy emotion.

From the parent’s perspective, if the child seems to be showing these signs of anxiety, slow down. Help your child become more prepared mentally and emotionally before all the other preparation. The books, paper, supplies, and clothes will all come soon enough. Your child’s state of mind should be of first importance.

A huge factor with this mental preparation is education. Inform your child of what exactly is going to happen. If possible, take him or her to the school and visit the classroom even if it is unprepared for the first day. If the child has the opportunity to see the room and knows how to get there successfully, much stress will be relieved. The not knowing and unexpected is eliminated. The actual walk through can be a tremendous anxiety reliever.

The same goes for the bus ride if your little one needs to be transported. If possible, let him or her visit the bus yard and see the bus and take them to the bus stop so they get an idea of what is going to happen. Find out which neighbors, if any, are at the same bus stop. If they already know each other and get along, perhaps they could walk together without having to be alone.

Lastly, if at all possible, meet the teacher or even the principal in advance. Many teachers and or administration thoroughly enjoy children and have absolutely no problem greeting the children before hand.

Yes, you the parent may be thrilled will the onset of a new school year but don’t create so much excitement that your child becomes overly anxious and suffers terribly from first day anxiety. Remember, the children normally will reflect their caregiver’s emotions and they are the ones that have to attend the school that first day, not the adult so be careful. Don’t accidentally create an emotionally upset child. Your little one should start with a feeling of confidence and with a little calm preparation and education, this calm confidence will be achieved.

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