Is your child nervous about going back to school – or changing schools?


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Both images courtesy FreeDigitalPhotos.net – image 1 digitalart and image 2 imagerymajestic – thanks!

It’s certainly normal and perfectly understandable to be nervous, but for some it’s much more than that.

Particularly if your child has a tendency towards anxiety or worry, it can be a big deal. A REALLY big deal.

And you’re probably quite nervous too & know that it’ll be a hectic time (more so if you have more than one child – especially if they’re on different sites).

Get organised @ home for back to school.
Enjoy choosing new school bags and lunch packs and stationary. Let your child choose as much as possible. Make a packed lunch up early and remember where they’ll eat it ( and perhaps even who with). Many schools have open days to let kids get acquainted with the layout and feel of the school at the end of the term before.

Some schools go even further having week-long activity block to let kids make friends and get used to staff and surroundings. My nephew did this at a famous London secondary school this summer and got to do great activities and made new friends. One enterprising local school offered an iPod shuffle to all who completed the week – genius!

Do the route
It really helps to not need to worry about how you’ll get there or how long it’ll take. It doesn’t really matter if that’s a walk, a drive, a bus or a train.Do it a couple of times to reinforce it. The more familiar it is, the less anxiety it causes. If it’s a long or complicated trip (like across London for example) do something great during the trip – associate the trip with something good.

Remind them of the good bits
The trips, the playtimes, seeing schoolmates again. Often school trips are very different to your own trips and days out, and they probably get a chance to behave a little different too! If they will still be with some of the same kids, let them catch up or keep in touch. There’s less of the anxiety or excitement about seeing them again then. Even normal happy excitement can add to overall stress.

They’ll certainly not be the only one!
Most kids are nervous, even if they don’t show it or look really excited. Everyone’s different & that’s must fine. The teacher expects everyone (including themselves!) to be nervous. They’ll be trying to make it as easy as possible.

Being there
If you possibly can arrange work or other commitments to be around before & after school at the start it offers great comfort and support. Talking about how it’s going and chatting about friends and what they all get up to makes a big difference.

Physical preparation
Enjoying the holidays beforehand helps children relax and gives them great experiences to talk about when they start school. Eating well and sleeping well are often underestimated, but can make huge differences. Conversely…..
We’ve always gone on ad nauseum about breakfast and having complex carbs & protein but there is new research in this area which could change this view.

Mother definitely knows best!
You’ll pick up on subtle cues that your child is worried, and you’ll have your own tried and tested little strategies you can rely on.

Hopefully it will disappear very quickly as your child settles in.
Good luck! To you too!

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