The beginning of a new school year can be exciting, but it can also be anxiety-provoking. For most, the new school year butterflies go away after a few days or weeks, but for others, they stay for longer. Caroline Miller at the Child Mind Institute offers suggestions for caregivers and families to ease the transition from summertime to the new school year.
- Be a calm model for your child, even when you are also anxious
- Listen to your child’s worries and demonstrate confidence that he/she will be able handle the situation
- If needed, test run “firsts,” such as walking around the school and locating classes before the first day of school.
- Talk with school personnel. If your child needs extra support during the school day, talk with his/her teacher, school counselor, principal, etc., and your child so that everyone is aware that supports are available.
- Separation at the beginning of the day might be difficult; arrange for a handoff between parent and teacher/nurse/friend and engage in an activity upon arrival
- Praise successful drop-offs and school days
- If school anxiety continues, speaking with a school counselor or an outside counselor/psychologist could be helpful
To learn more, visit: https://childmind.org/article/back-school-anxiety/
Maura L Rouse, PsyD, HSPP
Riley Hospital for Children
Indiana University School of Medicine