When kids are nervous about going back to school, it is the parent’s job to get to the bottom of that nervousness and reassure them. The most common reasons for back to school nerves are things like social fears, fear of being lost or doing something stupid, and worry about academics. So, help them handle their back to school nerves with the following suggestions:
- First have a talk with them about their nerves, and see if you can pinpoint the reasons. This will help you better address what is bothering them or making them anxious.
- Next, help them know how normal it is to be nervous. If they know that other kids will be feeling the same way, they won’t feel as isolated, and thus, will be less nervous.
- Talk to them about how you and their teachers will be there to answer questions and help them in any way you can, so they do not have to feel silly, or worry because you understand their nerves, and will see what you can do to help them. Knowing they have someone on their side, and supportive of them will help.
- Next, address the social fears by finding a buddy for them to get to and school from. Being able to walk into the school the first day with a friend by their side will certainly help them feel more comfortable. Set up play dates or hangouts with kids in the neighborhood that are the same age so that they can start school knowing someone. This will help them feel far more ready for school.
- Remind them how they know people from the year before, or from the neighborhood. Remind them how much fun it can be to participate in extra curricular activities, and that they are also great opportunities to meet new people and make new friends. Help them get excited about the opportunity to learn more and meet new people.
- Make sure they know that you are there for them, and that you will get them help if they need it. Many kids worry about going back to school because they doubt their academic abilities. If you address this before they ever start school it will help them to feel less pressure. Let them know you will help with homework if they need it, find them a tutor, or do whatever it takes to ensure they do not fall behind. Let them know that the school has resources for help, and that their teachers will also be willing to do what it takes to make sure they succeed.
- Your child may be nervous or anxious about going back to school, but they certainly don’t need to be, taking the time to familiarize them with the school, your plans, etc. will help them feel much better about going back to school, so sit down and talk to them. The more they know, the better they will feel.