It’s that time of year again. The summer has gone by so fast and it does not feel like it’s time to get serious yet! But summer vacation is over and for some kids the nerves start to rear their ugly heads. Whether there is fear of a new teacher, their best friend is not in the same class, or just the excitement of the first day of school, it may be difficult to separate back to school jitters from children who are experiencing anxiety.
In order to minimize the jitters, its important for parents to:
Have bedtime and morning routines. Many kids may complain about having to go to bed earlier, but know that you have their best interests at heart and may have to play hard ball the first week or two. A good nights sleep will set them up for success as they will have more resiliency to deal with the stresses of school.
Provide empathy. Let your child know that they are not alone if they are nervous about new class, teacher etc.
Although it’s so important to let your child know that they aren’t alone, help them problem solve so that they feel empowered to enter a situation they are not completely comfortable with. This is a skill that will take them far in life.
When its more than just the jitters, it’s also important to look at other factors. Should they talk to a counsellor? Is there a learning disability/ADD/ADHD? Maybe a nutrient deficiency? Talk to a professional if it doesn’t get better.
Good luck to all the kids going back to school! Lessons will be learned both in and out of the classroom!