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Reducing the fear of starting school

September 3rd, 2009

It’s that time of year – Back to School! Are we excited yet??

My daughter entered the big high school this year! It’s quite intimidating for her to walk onto a much bigger campus with big juniors and seniors.

Whether your child is starting preschool or high school, at a new school or returning to a familiar one, there is an element of fear and anxiety at the beginning of every school year. Who will be in my class? Will I like the teacher? What if I get in trouble?

Here are 3 simple tips to help your children alleviate some of the fear of starting school:

1. Bring a sack lunch and eat at the school. Pack a lunch as you would for your child for school, and picnic together at the lunch tables at the school on a Saturday. Anything associated with food brings comfort! Hanging around the school grounds, walking around to all the classrooms, and making sure you know where the bathrooms are also brings more familiarity and lessens the anxiety on the first day of school.

2. Go into the school office with your child and meet the staff. The office is a scary place for children. It’s usually off-limits to students, it’s where you go when you’re in trouble, and it’s full of important people. Bringing your children to see the inside of the office and meet the staff takes the mystery out of a scary place. Your children also like the special feeling of being in-the-know with the big people in the office. Don’t forget to bring some chocolates for the staff. You never know when you need a favor some day.

3. Make contact with your child’s teacher. If it’s not possible to meet the teacher before the school year starts, you can email your child’s teacher. Most schools have email for their teachers that you can find on the school’s website. Or you can call the office and leave a message on the teacher’s voicemail. Make sure you ask a question so the teacher will have to email or call you back. “Is there anything specific we should buy for school this year? Do you prefer your students use college rule or wide rule paper?” ” Do you have anything you need in your classroom that I can get for you?” (Teachers like hearing that one.) This will help your child feel a little more acquainted with the teacher before school starts.

Have a great year!

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  1. Hi there
    I love your site!
    Just had to write and tell you that my son had such bad anxiety about starting school last year (gr1) that on the 2nd day he locked himself in the bathroom and wouldnt come out. Then when he came out, I wrestled him to the door and slammed the door and locked it. It wasn’t pretty.All my kids were 45 mins late for school. They were not happy.
    I wish they could meet their teacher prior to the school year starting, it would have made such a difference for him.
    Can’t to look further at you site!
    Thanks, Kelly


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