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:
  • 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


Lisa Cholley,  is a Provisionally Licensed Professional Counselor at Step By Step Counseling, LLC.