Don’t Overlook Your Child’s Back-to-School Anxiety



Don’t Overlook Your Child’s Back-to-School Anxiety


Don’t Overlook Your Child’s Back-to-School Anxiety


Parents are usually faced with many parental, financial and social responsibilities. The end of summer and beginning of a new school year often constitute additional stressors on parents. They have to prepare for school equipment and pay for school clothes and tuition. While trying to get ready for a new school year, parents might overlook their child’s anxiety about starting a new academic year. Children might be anxious because of the very simple concept of routine change. They might be worried about their new class teacher and how he/she would deal with them. They might have been bullied once before at school and are overwhelmed with the idea of being bullied again. They might be concerned about the idea of class change and the consequences of not having their close friends in class. They might also worry about the coming academic requirements and their possible achievements. Many stressors may face our children and we might not notice their worries as we are being busy preparing for school supplies.

Some tips might help during the back-to-school period:

  • Gradually return to the wake-up and sleep routine

It is very important that the body gets ready for the routine change. This would have a positive psychological effect on your child’s preparation for and adjustment to change.

  • Spend quality time with your child

Spending long times with your child while occasionally talking about school and his/her expectations for the new academic year might open up subjects that might be related to his fears or worries. This will help him share his thoughts. Try to talk about any positive activities or achievements from previous years that could help him overcome his worries.

  • Empathize with your child

Let your child know that you understand what he is talking about. Let him know that you are always there for him to listen and help in case he needs your support. Talk about your previous experiences with change. Let him know that, even if we feel that change is somehow difficult, it is also full of excitement and sense of development. It is important that you encourage your child to face his fears so that he does not to get used to avoiding what he worries about.

  • Help him make plans to meet with his school friends before the end of the summer holiday

This would help him overcome his worries about going back to school. It would make him feel social support from his peers and would help him regain his sense of belonging to the school community.

  • Get involved

Your knowledge of your child’s friends and school community in general will help you develop your understanding of his surroundings and what he is going through. Parents’ meetings days at school will also help in the process of supporting your child.

  • Ask for help when needed

Finally, if you feel that the school stressors are beyond you and your child’s capabilities to handle on your own, seeking professional help from a psychologist for example will definitely help. It will give you the professional tools to manage the situation and cope with school issues.