Whether they are going to school for the first time or just having anxiety after this past year, it can be challenging for children to leave home and go to school. Parents will have the hard job of doing their best to make it go as smoothly as possible. This is definitely easier said than done. What works for one child may not work for another, so understanding each individual child will be essential. Here are some ideas to get you started.
One thing everyone needs, whether you are a child or an adult, is the feel heard. When a child comes to you with concerns, drop everything a hear them out. It will help them get the worries off their chest if they know that they had your full attention. As an adult, it can be easy to brush off their tiny issues as nothing, but these minor issues are enormous and affect their whole world. Making them know that you are really listening will be the first step to helping to calming their anxiety and finding a way to make the transition easier.
Separation anxiety is something that many children that have not been to daycare or other facilities tend to suffer with. When children do not routinely leave their parents, they can create a fear, thinking about it happening for school. For some mild reassuring them that you will be waiting to pick them up may do the trick. Practice by signing them up for some summer activities to help show them that you will always be there to get them. Those with stronger feelings consult their pediatrician or another professional to help find a specific plan for their child.
Talking to a child about going to a school they have never seen can make it sound more intimidating. Drive them to the school and walk around the grounds. Show them where they will be dropped off and where they will be meeting you to go home. Take advantage of any parent nights or meet the teacher opportunities that your school offers. It will also give you a chance to let the teacher know about your concerns. Once they see it, it could help them become more excited. Taking the unknown out of it will help relieve some of the stress children are feeling.
As an adult, we need to be aware when little ears are floating around. We can get distracted talking to others and forget who could be hearing. With the politics and changes at the school right now, be careful of what your children overhear. Our thoughts and feelings could be too much for them to process and be causing them to want to stay home. Children need only to hear positive views of their school. They are too young to be burden with behind the scene activities.
Calm your child and have a great back-to-school experience. Every child deserves a stress-free school experience.