Does your child have back to school anxiety?
Are they dreading returning to school? If so, here are a few ways to help your family prepare for the start of the new school year. Escape back to school anxiety by making school something to look forward to.
Kids look forward to Christmas and their birthday for weeks because they associate the winter holidays with special family time, good food and let’s not forget the presents. Why not turn back to school time into something your children will look forward to rather than dread.
1. Turn back to school shopping into special gift giving.
Most families like to do one big back to school shopping trip and get everything taken care of and over with in one day. What if instead of buying everything all at once you pay attention to the clothes and school supplies that your child really likes and secretly buy them another time. Then you can surprise your child with individually gift-wrapped “presents” that contain back to school clothes or special pens and backpacks. You can even space out the gift giving over the course of a week or two by giving your kids one special back to school gift each day. Most kids love getting presents and this will get them excited to start putting their new clothes and school supplies to use once school starts!
2. Take a field trip to your kid’s school the week before school starts.
Half of the fear of going back to school or even starting at a new school is the fear of the unknown. If your child is starting kindergarten or is transferring to a new school, they are probably feeling uncomfortable with the idea of going to a new place, they may even be worried that they won’t be able to find their way around. Take the opportunity to make a fun trip to the new school. Take a picnic to the new school and spend a fun afternoon exploring the new school and playing at the playground. This allows your child to create a positive association with their school. For secondary students it is nice to go to the school ahead of time to do a walk through of their new class schedule so they know exactly what to do on the first day. Hopefully this will help take some of the back to school anxiety away!
3. Create a special back to school menu for the first week of school.
This is an activity you can do with your child a few weeks before school starts. Together you can plan out some special meals for the first week of school. Let your child choose some of their favorite foods that you can have for breakfast on the first day. Go shopping together for exciting lunch items for your kid’s lunches. Let each of your kids request their favorite dinner for you to make during the first week. You don’t have to make every meal special, but maybe one exciting meal a day can be something for your child to look forward to each day of the first week of school.
4. Go on a special date after the first day of school.
What kid doesn’t like ice cream or doughnuts? Surprise your kids by taking them out for a special treat after their first day of school. This can be an afterschool treat or an after dinner treat (for working parents). Use this time to ask your child about their day and let them know you are interested and supportive of them. What a great way to end their first day and get them ready for the rest of the week, free from anxiety!
What are some special traditions your family does to reduce back to school anxiety? 20 moms shared their ideas about how to make back to school special on this blog post. We’d also love to hear your ideas, so please feel free to share your comments with us!