ABCs of Back to School: Easing School Anxiety

August 26, 2010 5:12:18 AM PDT
Starting school for the first time or changing schools can be scary.

· Research shows that parents' own feelings and attitudes toward school influence the child's perception of and adjustment to school. Try to be positive and reassuring without putting too much pressure on the child.

· Make sure you don't start the first day rushed. It causes stress and increases anxiety. Prepare all necessary things, such as clothes, snacks, backpack, supplies, etc. the evening before.

· Help the child choose a familiar or cherished small item they can bring from home to increase their comfort in a new environment

Handling separation (for those starting school)

· If your child is afraid or doesn't want you to leave, take time to walk them around the classroom, show them all of the fun games and learning materials.

· Most importantly, do not sneak out while your child is distracted

Making friends (for those changing schools)

· Find out if your child already knows any of the kids in her class or the next grade.

· Remind your child that other children in class probably feel the same way and are also looking to make friends.

· Often parents are the last to know if their child has actually made friends. Ask the teacher whom your child likes to spend time with in class or the playground, then help your child build that friendship by scheduling play dates.


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