A new school year can be stressful for any child. There are new classmates to meet, new teachers with new rules and brand new subjects to understand. Add struggles with attention to that mix and school starts to sound more like a nightmare. We know that easing your child’s anxiety about the new school year can be difficult, especially if you, as the parent, are unfamiliar with what the new school year brings. First, we want to say, you’re not alone in this. Moving your child from a comfortable known environment to a new situation feels daunting and nerve-wracking. But we have a few tips to help you through the transition.
Maintain Routines at Home
While you can’t protect your child from changes in their classroom environment, there are things you can do at home to keep their anxiety at bay. To combat any extra stress your child is feeling, work hard to maintain the routine of your daily life.
Children who struggle to maintain attention thrive within a structured routine, so the least disruption they feel outside of things that are changing, the better they will feel about the new environment. As much as possible, maintain the same sleep schedule, morning routines and play time to ensure that your child feels a sense of balance and normalcy in his or her life. It may not do much to ease their anxieties about the new classroom, but it will ensure they have a safe space to come home to that they are familiar with.
Stay Open with Your Child
Each child will respond differently to a new classroom. Even between siblings you’ll find different reactions to brand new environments. No matter what techniques you try, stay open to the different options you have. Try not to stick to one single fix for each one of your children, because they all have different needs.
And more than anything, keep the lines of communication open with your child. With some encouragement, they’ll share with you which parts of their new classroom are causing them the most stress. They’ll also tell you what techniques will help and which might be a waste of time. Giving your child the space to talk to you about their worries can make all the difference in the world.
We are always looking for new ways to help our community of parents. If you have a tip or trick for acclimating to a new classroom or a new school, leave us a comment. Other moms will appreciate any insight you have.