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Mendo Lake Family Life

Dear Teacher... My Child Has Back to School Anxiety

Jan 19, 2015 12:46PM

Question:

Every year my children and I have a fantastic summer. Then the first week of school comes, and their anxiety level suddenly rises to very high levels. How can we avoid this? — High Anxiety

Answer:

Parents can make back-to-school time less traumatic by clearing their schedules so they can focus on being there for their children. The less parents have to do at home and on the job, the more relaxed they will be.

Children tend to be especially anxious if they are attending a new school or have had bad experiences the previous year. This is the time for parents to be calm, positive and reassuring. They also need to be careful not to overreact to problems that pop up in the first days and help their children develop coping strategies. If their children have been bullied or teased the previous year, their new teachers need to know about this during the first days of school to stop it from happening again.

Parents also can make the start of school more comfortable for their younger children by arranging play dates for them during the first weeks of school. This helps them rebuild social relationships with their classmates.