How to calm starting school nerves
Keep your children's stress levels down with these pointers from parents.
We might be quite keen to see our children marching back through the school gate, but for kids it can be a time of great anxiety. For some kids the easy-going days of summer can make school seem like a harsh place to face again.
It doesn’t take much for anxiety to rise and minor concerns to become huge fears. However, there are a few things you can do to calm things down. I asked some parents for their suggestions.
Calm those fears
I confess I hadn’t thought of role play. Blogger Jax, from Live Otherwise, suggested getting dressed in school clothes, acting out arrival, register, circle time and so on. These work best if other kids are involved.
On Twitter, @mummymummymum said: “Take them shopping to buy uniform to get them excited about it. And meet up with some other parents and children from the school over summer in a playground.”
This is a brilliant idea; get your child and some friends to meet for a playground picnic. School can’t continue to be a scary place if you’ve sat on the grass eating your lunch, can it?
Meanwhile, @Reluctanthousedad goes for the opposite approach. He said: “Distraction. Keep them busy, don't give them space to dwell on it. It's going to happen so have fun in meantime. Today it's cinema, bike ride and fruit picking. Next week, grand tour of grandparents and cousin.”
Keep calm and carry on
It sounds exhausting, but I’ll bet it works. His kids will arrive at school without having had any time at all to fret about it.
And @jediandi suggests a much more “keep calm and carry on” kind of approach. “Calm parents have calmer kids, they can smell your fear. Accept that your child will be fine, they have to experience life!”
Times journalist, Sarah Ebner author of The Starting School Survival Guide, says in the book: “It’s not uncommon for children to be anxious about starting school and you can help by being low key and talking about school as a normal part of life. Share books about school, talk about it, and be encouraging without going over the top. Help your child to see school as simply the next stage of the nursery they enjoyed so much.”
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