Alleviating first-day-of-school jitters
The first day of school can create butterflies in the stomachs of parents and children. However, following a few tips can alleviate feelings of nervousness.
There are expectations and unknowns with each and every school year for both the students and their parents. Pivotal years, such as kindergarten, 6th grade for middle-schoolers, freshman year of high school, or the start of college can create added levels of jitters because these years mark entry to a new school or new routine. But keeping a few pointers in mind can alleviate some of the fears.
Keep a routine. It is important for parents and students to get back into the school swing of things a few weeks prior to the first day of school. Start setting alarm clocks for the hour at which kids will have to awaken, and get them in the habit of rising from bed and starting the day. Try to schedule something to do each day that will be the inspiration for getting moving, such as school supply shopping. These practice sessions will enable the family to decide how much time is needed to get ready in the morning and make changes accordingly.
Mention school frequently. Begin talking about school and what is necessary to prepare. Be sure to talk about the more enjoyable aspects of school, such as seeing friends, participating in extracurricular activities and even the change of scenery school provides. Hearing about school frequently can reduce feelings of anxiety.
Visit the school. If this is the student's first time entering this school, you can take advantage of orientation days for new students or schedule an individual visit to the school. A tour and a meeting with the principal will also assuage some fears of the unknown.
Don't be nervous. Children often look to their parents for guidelines on how to behave. A parent who is overly nervous or sad about the first day of school could make their kids nervous, too. Put on a brave face and keep any anxiety hidden until kids have left for school.
Be prepared. Gather supplies, practice the driving route, lay out clothes, make lunch the night before, get a good night's rest, and set the alarm clock. Knowing all of the controllable factors are handled can ease the mind of parents and students.