Back-to-school time can be a time of a lot of excitement but also a lot of nerves! These tips to calm back-to-school jitters will help your child get excited for the first day!
Calm Back-to-School Jitters With These Tips
My boys always seems to have a mix of both. They will be excited to see their friends, but also have stomach aches and a hard time sleeping in the days leading up to and just following back-to-school time. Of course that is totally normal and I tell them that, but I have also found a few things that we can do to help put those nerves to rest for good.
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Tips to Calm Back-to-School Jitters
1.Make Back-to-School time fun!
We always plan a fun back-to-school breakfast where we can discuss their emotions in a non-threatening way. We sit around the table eating Pencil Waffles and talk about what they are excited for at school and what they aren’t excited for. It is a great way to get them to open up about their feelings. We try to focus more on what they ARE excited about. The brain is a funny thing, and what we focus on, we start to feel. Anxiety and excitement express themselves in the same way in our bodies so if we can get our children to focus on how EXCITED they are for school, they will feel excited when their heart starts to race a bit or they are hit with the jitters.
Also, once the first day of school comes around, I like to hide a little motivational note or joke in their lunchbox so when they open it up in the middle of the day, they have something fun to find.
2.Find the root of their back-to-school jitters
If you can get to the root of their nerves, you can help them to feel better. Are they just experiencing the normal feelings that come with doing something new or is there something more that needs to be addressed.
For example, if they have struggled with school in the past, it could be a big cause of stress for them. If reading is their main struggle I LOVE the Learning Dynamics Reading program. It helped give my son confidence in his reading skills and he absolutely loves to read now!
If they have struggled making friends in the past, they may be experiencing feelings of loneliness or worry about being left out.
There are several books that address different types of worrying in a way that children can understand. My FAVORITE book for back-to-school worries is Jonathan James and the What-if Monster and my favorite program for addressing things like social anxiety is the Turnaround Program. I’ve used it with my children and it helps them understand their emotions in a fun and not-so-scary way.
If their worrying gets to the point that it is affecting their daily activities, make sure to discuss it with a doctor. It may be more than just the jitters.
3. Give them a way to remember you while they are away
Some children just need a little reminder that mom is thinking about them and will be there when they get home. There are several ways you could do this.
One thing I discovered is that there are many cute mother/son bracelets that even my boys would wear. 🙂 They come with a fun saying about going back to school and how you can each think of each other when you are wearing it.
If they aren’t interested in a bracelet, try a keychain. You can have one on your keys and they keep a matching one on their backpack and look at it if they start missing you. I know my boys would love these ones!
Even just sending them with a picture of their favorite pet or stuffed animal can help them
4. Help them create affirmations to help them feel brave
That voice in our head is kind of a big deal. The words we tell ourselves are what we begin to believe. Help your child create some positive thoughts to think about when they start missing home. Changing their though processes will make a huge difference in their life. Instead of “I’m worried about….” they can say “I’m excited about…. because I like to try new things”. Or instead of “What if I don’t make any friends?”, they can change it to “What if I find my BEST friend this year!” This Mindfulness Monster Stone would be a fun way to remind them to think positive thoughts throughout the day.
I know what it is like to have a child who struggles with worries and have learned that there are simple things that can help to calm back-to-school jitters and help your child have a great year and thrive while they are away from you.
I would LOVE to hear from you!! What have you done to help your children calm the back-to-school jitters and to have a great time at school or anytime they are away from you. Leave a comment below and share with other moms who may need the help.
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