Don’t worry, you’re not alone. Don’t tell my kids this, but seriously while I am busily preparing everything for them to go back to school in the back of my mind I have my own anxieties. It’s especially worse when they are starting at a new school for the first time. This year I will be nervously keeping my self busy in anticipation of my Kindergartners arrival home next Thursday. I’ll be excited to hear how his sisters did as well.
I have one child who has inherited my anxieties. Maybe the others have them too, but they hide them better than my oldest does. Every year we go through this. Mommy, I don’t want to start school. That teacher is mean. I have no friends in my class. All of my friends are going to a different school. It’s always something. And it’s every year that I’m pointing out that she did the exact same thing the year before and ended up having a great year. Or on the rare occasion that things didn’t go well, then it’s then this year has to be better because there’s no where to go but up. It’s always fun.
Wanna know how I handle it all? Well, I’m going to tell you.
There seems to be something every year. This year is particularly stressful as a parent where we live because I have to try not to create fears in my own children due to the redistricting. School starts in less than a week and the word is that there are 4 teacher positions open in my children’s elementary school alone. Thankfully my children all have a teacher who will be there, but I have a friend whose Kindergartner is in the class where there still is no teacher. What a pain.
Things are changing on the middle school level with the schedule and length of classes. It’s a lot of change around these parts. I am unsure about my daughter’s schedule and am concerned that it’s not challenging enough for her, but there’s not too much I can do about it now.
Then there is the bus. I was checking for the kids bus stops and it’s just making me more and more anxious. The website is telling me to put my kids on a bus stop that’s far from my house in spite of one that appears to be two houses over. Two different bus routes. So if I put them on the bus that picks up closest to my house, will they come home on that same bus? What about my Kindergartner, the one who last year kept unbuckling his seat belt because other kids were doing it on the bus? How will he handle being on a large bus?
See, lots to worry about around here. And while most of this stuff will just have to run through my mind on their first day of school I don’t have to sit back and wonder for all of it.
I have been making phone calls. I have been talking to other parents at the school. I have been trying to find answers to my questions before school starts. I will still worry and I will still anxiously await their arrival back home to tell me all about their day. And once that happens all of my fears will be put to rest.
So what do I do on the first day back to school? I keep very busy. I tackle all of those tasks I couldn’t do over the summer because I was trying to keep the kids entertained. I will spend some quality time enjoying one on one time with the baby. I will keep moving and keep busy and then I will hover as soon as they walk in the door.
Easing Your Child’s Anxieties
If you have a worry wart for a child like I do I can assure you that you won’t be able to completely ease her fears, but the best advice I have is be positive. We always talk about the great times my daughter will have for that particular year. Whatever she heard from someone else about a teacher is not valid because your experience could be completely different. So we have a rule that we have to give the teachers a chance. Make our own opinions based on our own observations, not what someone else tells us.
Now here’s the thing I have found works great. I give my daughter something to look forward to at the end of the day. She gets to choose dessert or dinner for the night on her first day of school. That way she has something she’s excited for during the day. And I hope it helps her to go through the day with a positive attitude.
Nothing has changed with my oldest this year. She’s going into her last year of middle school. I’m nervously excited for her about this. She is upset because a lot of her friends were redistricted and she wants to go to the new school. She has been driving me nuts about not sending her to the new school all summer. I was so relieved that she didn’t get the new school. She doesn’t entirely see things from my point of view, but I’m sure once she gets into school she’ll appreciate things a little more. She won’t have to learn a whole new school after all and then next year move to the high school and learn her way around that school.
We will all have a good year. That is my motto. Things haven’t turned out exactly how any of us have anticipated, but it will be a good year. I keep saying it to myself and out loud to the kids. It will be a good year.
Does a new school year cause you and your child anxiety?
I hope you have enjoyed this weeks Back To School Guide. We have talked about getting on a schedule, lunch and snack, dealing with paper, and getting involved. And this concludes my guide for back to school. I hope you all have a great school year with lots learned, no paper clutter, and plenty of involvement.