You survived. It was touch and go at times, but you made it through another summer with the kids. As you excitedly scamper around buying backpacks, school supplies and lunch boxes – your kids may be more than a little less enthused. Some might even be developing a knot in their stomachs as the idea of a new school year approaches.
First day of school nerves are normal. I remember wanting to throw up on the first day of school every year. It was not fun, but after the first few days, I would find my beat and survive.
If you have children that struggle with transitions and new situations – they might experience the back to school nerves as well.
Here are 5 ways to make that first morning feel a little less…pukey.
Prepare, prepare, prepare
Nothing calms the nerves better than preparation. When you know what to expect, your imagination can’t fill in the gaps for you – and often that is a very good thing! Make sure to take your kids to meet the teacher night. This will help them get acquainted with their teacher, show them what their class will look like and give them a preview of some of their classmates.
If you are out of town or busy that night, call the school and ask if you can pop into the classroom with your child or arrange to meet the teacher a different day. Most schools are open several weeks before school starts and would be more than happy to ease a worried child’s mind.
Make them feel good about themselves
This is going to sound like a superficial tip – but it can make a difference. Buy your child a first day outfit that they feel great in. This will help build confidence and may even create a little excitement around the first day.
Walk them to class
Even if they have been going to their school forever, ask your children if they would like you to park and walk them in. Nervous kids will welcome the extra reassurance and comfort on the first day.
Discuss What If scenarios
Worried minds love What if scenarios. If your children are showing or vocalizing fear for the first day, ask them “What is the worst that can happen?” This is better than saying something like “What are you afraid of?!” Children might misinterpret that question as judgment. Once you discover what your children are afraid of – address each concern with a possible solution.
This might seem obvious, but be extra caring the first week of school. Your children might not express their stress and worry, but that doesn’t mean that it is not there. Be more forgiving and less demanding. Realize that there might be a bit more attitude and agitation during the first week and give them space to readjust to the new schedule.
The good news is a first day only happens once a year! Help your children prepare and make their first week slightly more enjoyable. Then you can do your summer-is-over happy dance.
Do you have some suggestions on how to help the nerves on the first day of school? Help other parents out and leave a comment below.
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