Some children struggle with school anxiety, below are a few tips that I recommend for families to practice while students are entering the “back to school season”:
- Create a mini-family photo album that they can look at during school if needed.
- Social story: a short story talking about going to school and what to expect when going to school
- Read stories at home: http://www.
notimeforflashcards.com/2012/ 07/31-books-to-read-about- school.html
- Attend meet your teacher night
- Transition object: Some kids may find it helpful to bring something from home to help them feel comfortable
- Quick kiss and goodbye: sometimes when parents stay this teaches kids that if they get upset then they get to go home.
- Help them get back into a routine before and after school as well. It helps to start a few days before school starts.
- Do a practice (drive past school, visit playground, hang out at the bus stop for a while)
- Try to appear excited or relaxed about school. You do not want your worries making them feel there is a need to be worried
- Letting them feel in control (helping them choose their outfit or what to pack for lunch
- Empathize their worries “you are feeling worried about mommy and daddy not being at school” “many other kids feel this way too”
- Some kids are old enough to brainstorm ideas for feeling better at school, take a break to draw a picture call mom at lunch bring something from home
- Color a back to school banner to take on first day
- Donate school supplies to take the focus off of them
- Practice deep breathing or guided imagery
- crate a story puppet show about a kid’s going back to school