(WTNH) — Homework, tests, and making friends are just a few reasons why your child may be worried about their first day of school. Clinical psychologist Ryan Loss is helping parents navigate their child’s anxieties.
1. It’s important to check in with your child to see how they are feeling about the upcoming school year. By asking the question, you’re not going to provoke anxiety. If they are anxious, it’s there regardless of the question being asked.
2. Talk through any concerns your child may have so that they feel heard and initiate reassurance about the upcoming school year. For instance, have them reflect back on the past years in school, or draw parallels between each school year.
3. Work out a plan with your child and the school about how to cope with anxiety if it occurs. It is recommended that you do not have your child immediately contact you if anxious, but rather initially utilize cognitive/behavioral coping strategies.
4. If possible, have your child walk through the school before the school years starts to further familiarize themselves with the building.
5. Start the school schedule a week or two ahead of time by setting wake up times and bed times early, so that they are at a regular schedule come the first day of school.
For more tips, watch the interview with Dr. Loss above.