Tomorrow school starts here in Ontario! After a year of homeschooling… Kyla, Ava, Jayden and my sweet little first year Kindergartner Jackson are heading to school tomorrow (Jordan will still be homeschooling!) I have some mixed emotions because of how terrible last year was, and also because my little Jackson will be leaving me for the first time ever! My kids are excited yet very nervous!
It seems as though all children experience some sort of back to school jitters. Perhaps they are nervous about going to a new school, or meeting new friends, or getting to know a new teacher. Whatever the case may be, there are ways to calm back to school jitters in children. Take a look below at 7 ways to calm back to school jitters in children so they can start their new school year feeling confident and successful.
Listen to their fears
It is helpful to first identify the fear that is bothering the child. Enjoy a walk or board game together and ask them about these fears. What is making them nervous? What parts of the new school year worries them? What might make them feel better? These are all great questions to ask.
Tour the building and school grounds
Take your child on a tour of the building or at least the school grounds. Even if they are not attending a new school, sometimes just seeing the property can help it feel less scary. Walk around and point out all of the positive aspects, like the playground, beautiful landscaping, and artwork you may see. In fact, I was speaking to a friend of mine who lives in Texas about this just the other day. Her little ones have got their first day at private school next week! When choosing the right school for her children my friend told me that The Fay School really stood out to them when they took a tour of the campus. Apparently all the children looked so happy to be there and all the classrooms looked so interesting! Above all, familiarising your children with their new school before their first day can make a huge difference.
Get together with new/old friends
Arrange a day for your child to play with others who attend the school. This can help children get acquainted with each other, find common interests, and make the first day back a whole lot less scary. The school office can help to put you in touch with parents.
Help them feel prepared
Start a few weeks ahead of time gathering supplies, back to school clothing, a lunch box, and other necessary supplies. Having these items checked off way ahead of time can help your child feel more prepared and start getting them excited for the return of the school year.
Enlist a peer to help
Sometimes children do better talking about their problems to peers. Have a sibling, cousin, or neighbor talk to your child about these back to school jitters. This is especially helpful if the per has experienced such jitters themselves. If you can find an older peer who also attends the school to help, it can give your child a mentor experience should they need any help during the year.
Fix a Good Breakfast
Although your kids might not feel like they have a big appetite, they’ll be surprised. Fixing them their favorite breakfast is one way to combat those nerves and keep your kiddos calm.
Reach out to the staff
Introduce your child to school staff prior to the first day of school. It is always nice to see familiar faces when then walk in the door on that first day. The teacher, the principal, and other staff members are all sure to be helpful and help calm your child’s fears. After all, they see these sorts of fears every single day.
Don’t let back to school jitters take away the positive experience of back to school time. Instead, give these tips a try and see if they don’t help make back to school time a more delightful one.