Back-to-school blues? Who are we kidding!? Our children going back to school makes us far from blue — in fact, most parents are feeling pretty giddy about the possibility of getting some of their time back.
What do us working parents, or SAHMs/WAHMs need time for? Oh you know, time for our “real” job and some “real” work — time for some housework, time for some self-care, and yes, time to do freakin’ nothing but eat bon-bons and watch The Real Housewives.
But, sadly, there are some who may be feeling down in the dumps with the new school year approaching. Who are they? Well, they are our little people — they are our children.
No, not all children have dislike or anxiety towards school, but for other children this is an involuntary, undisguisable, and completely honest thing, and it can be pretty debilitating and emotional.
So, what is it about school that could be giving your child the jitters and causing them such angst? Let’s review a view possible causes. This includes:
- Fear of new people (teachers, aides, or children)
- Fear of new information
- Social struggles
- Learning disabilities/challenges
- Lack of self-esteem
- Testing fears
These are just to name a few. Now, you might be asking yourself what it is that you can do to help your child push past and get through this transition from summer freedom to fall ing back into the routine which returns each autumn with a new school year.
Here are a few suggestions for curbing your child’s uneasiness towards school:
Talk to them. I cannot emphasize this enough. I cannot adequately explain to you just how important dialogue is with your child regarding anything and everything — things that excite them, things that scare them, and things that simultaneously do both, like school. For most children, and people really, merely getting our feelings out of our minds and actually saying words out loud, sharing those words with a listening and comforting ear, is enough to help us process and push past any less than helpful emotions.
Role Play. This one is helpful if your child is fearful of other children or in social situations in general. This can also be helpful if your child is nervous to meet their new teacher. Discuss what their teacher may be like and discuss how each school day may go. You can also take some time to talk about and exemplify for them some of the different personalities that they may encounter on school grounds.
Educate them. Yes, educate them! School is not the only place where they should be learning. Learning should be taking place at home as well and in fact, the more they learn at home, the more confident they will feel in their knowledge about topics they encounter at school.
Praise them. It is so incredibly important that we, as parents, build up our children so that they feel super confident in themselves, yet remain humble. Praise their effort and not their successes. Tell them each and every day that they are beautiful, kind, smart, special, funny, and important and they will begin to believe that, if they don’t already.
Prepare them. Talk about what this new year will entail for them. Talk to them about what they will be learning and how they will be learning it. Get and stay in a routine. Make sure that they have all the supplies that they need, plus any extra “wants” that seem appropriate if you feel it would encourage and motivate your child to work hard.
Oh, yeah…and if you the parent start feeling any anxiety towards all this newfound kid-free time that you have, I have one suggestion for curbing your anxieties — pour yourself a drink.
This post comes from the TODAY Parenting Team community, where all members are welcome to post and discuss parenting solutions. Learn more and join us! Because we're all in this together.