Returning back to school after a long break can induce anxiety in some children. Whether it's starting a new school year or going back to the same routine, anxiety can make the transition challenging for both children and their parents. However, there are ways to minimize kids' anxiety about returning to school and make the process smoother for everyone involved.
Here are a few tips to try:
Establish a routine: A consistent routine can help children feel more secure and prepared for school. Start by gradually reintroducing school-related activities into their daily schedule. Set regular bedtimes, waking up times, and meal times to help them adjust before the school year begins. This can help reduce the anxiety associated with changes in routine.
Visit the school before the first day: Anxiety can be fueled by the unknown. Take your child to visit the school before the first day to help familiarize them with the environment. Show them their classroom, the cafeteria, or any other areas they may be using. Meeting their teacher, if possible, can also help alleviate any anxiety about unfamiliar faces.
Encourage social connections: Loneliness and the fear of not fitting in are common concerns for children returning to school. Encourage them to reconnect with old friends or make new ones. Arrange playdates with classmates or join community events where they can meet children from their school. Building these social connections can boost their confidence and make the school environment feel more supportive.
Involve them in preparation: Include your child in back-to-school preparations like shopping for supplies or organizing their backpack. By involving them in these activities, they will feel more in control and excited about going back to school.