Managing back to school anxiety

The transition back to the classroom as the long break ends can be a stressful time for both parents and children. As everyone is trying to adjust to a new routine, this can bring in anxiety, which could be very normal.

While anxiety regarding returning to school is common, it’s also not something that should be ignored. For this reason, you need to identify when your kids are struggling with stress and anxiety.


Ensure that you are beginning to make your child feel comfortable and one way to help your child transition is to be available for him, especially during the first few weeks. Hence, try to be at home more if possible. If you work away from home, try to arrange your hours so that you’re able to drop your child off at school as well as be there after school if you can.

Alternatively, if you can’t be there, ask another trusted relative, friend, or caregiver to fill this role for your child. Leaving him an encouraging note in his backpack or calling him before he leaves for school can help him feel more secure, too.

You can also plan a special time to do something fun together to celebrate after his first day. Giving him something to look forward to, while also honouring that going back to school is hard for them, can help him feel more at ease.

If you’re a stay-at-home parent, try to focus more on your child and put nonessential items on the back burner when they are home. Spend some time talking to your child about his day, such as what he liked and what he might have questions about.

Another way to combat anxiety and stress is to address eating, sleeping, and exercise habits. Make sure your child gets enough sleep and eats a balanced diet. Getting adequate sleep and eating healthy food, especially a balanced breakfast, are important for brain function, mood, and the ability to focus and pay attention in school.

You can remind your child about what makes going back to school amazing, this will also help reduce anxiety. Aside from learning new things and participating in extracurricular activities, there is a lot that is good about school; the fun new school supplies and clothes, meeting friends, teachers, and staff members they haven’t seen in a while. This also includes being on the playground, attending the gym class, art class and visits to the library.

Let your child know that he is not the only one nervous about starting school again. Let him know that his teacher also knows kids are nervous, and will probably spend time helping pupils feel more comfortable as they settle into the classroom.

You know your child best. If you sense that his back-to-school anxiety may be rooted in something more serious, such as an anxiety disorder or a problem with a bully, talk with your child, his teacher, and the school counselor.

And remember, you need to relax as well. Back-to-school time can be just as hectic and stressful for parents. Take care of yourself by eating right and getting enough sleep and exercising during this transitional phase. Remind yourself that any anxiety or stress you or your child may be feeling is usually temporary. Before you know it, your family will likely be deep into the back-to-school groove.

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