Many kids experience anxiety at some point in their life. Transition in school is one of those times. Whether you have an up and coming Kindergartner, a just entering middle schooler, a new high schooler, or a recent graduate, they may have some anxiety over the change.
As we get closer to the beginning of the school year, here are some things you can do to help your child.
First, understand that anxiety during these life changes is natural. We all have questions, concerns, apprehensions, and fears surrounding change. Most of the time it is completely normal.
Talk to your child about what their fears and anxieties are. This will help guide you in how to help them. Answer any questions they may have. For some children, it may be helpful for them to hear your experience of transition. Or perhaps an older sibling’s experience.
Take a tour of the new school in advance if possible. Some schools host a day where newcomers can walk around and become familiar with the surroundings. If your school doesn’t, call the school office to see if you can schedule a time to come in. Becoming familiar with the new environment can help a child settle in much better.
Teach your child who the helpers are in their school. Teachers, school counselors, administrators, office staff, etc. are all available to help your child through difficult moments at school. Teach them who these individuals are and how to ask for their help.
When your child starts school, be sure to ask them each day how their day went. Let them talk freely about their day without interruption. If they experienced an issue, ask them if they would like your help with it.
If your child seems to be having a more difficult time than usual with the school transition, consider talking with the school counselor for guidance or setting up an appointment with a therapist.
School can be a fun and exciting time in your child’s life. Remember to be patient with them and be encouraging.