7 Tips To Help You Alleviate First-Day Jitters in Your Child


7 Tips To Help You Alleviate First-Day Jitters in Your ChildImagine sending your precious little one off to their first day of school – or perhaps their return after a long break. You want nothing more than for them to embrace each new learning opportunity confidently, but instead, you spot those first-day jitters setting in. Wondering how to help your kiddo with back-to-school anxiety? Here are practical yet caring techniques tailored specifically for 7 tips to help you alleviate first-day jitters in your child. 

1. Remember the Back to School Basics

Gradually shift your family’s sleep schedule earlier a week or so before school begins. That extra time helps kiddos adapt smoothly to their brand-new daily routines! 

Make sure they have a good breakfast in the morning. In a study of 500 teachers, Warburtons found that 72% of teachers knew which kids didn’t eat breakfast based on behaviors like giving up on tasks easily, tiredness and distractedness. Fueling their bellies with nutritious and yummy morning meals sets them up for success throughout the school day. 

With these essential bases covered, imagine the powerful teamwork between parents and kids to conquer any back-to-school butterflies!

2. Start Preparations Well in Advance

There’s nothing more stressful than hurriedly preparing for the first day of school the night before. Help your kids switch gears into school mode by practicing their daily routine for a few days before school starts. This can help them feel more confident and prepared when it’s time to do the real thing. 

Consider every move they will make. What time will they wake up? Pack a lunch, get them dressed and have breakfast like a school day. What time do they need to be ready to leave for school? What should they remember to take with them? It may also help to go through the afternoon routine. Talk through after-school activities, time for homework and night routines before bed. 

The day before school, do a relaxing activity like a picnic surrounded by ducks at Brown park or churros and ice cream at Panchitos. 

3. Go for Orientation Evening

They can meet their new teacher and a few classmates before the big day. If a school visit isn’t an option, try role-play. Take turns acting out being the teacher and the student at school. This will be especially helpful for kids with autism and social anxiety. 

When you repeatedly practice anxiety-producing experiences in a compassionate way, you can help them respond differently in social situations.  Take your time and go over the exercise again if needed. You can also practice conversations with other kids in different scenarios like finding common interests, seeing a familiar face on the first day back and asking about their summer holiday. 

4. Acknowledge the Jitters

If you’ve noticed your little one seeming a bit anxious about diving back into (or starting) school and wondering how to help your child with first-day jitters, a great first step is simply asking them what’s causing that worry. 

Listen closely, show empathy and remind them that everyone gets nervous sometimes. Together, explore strategies for tackling those anxieties by discussing questions like, “What would be our plan if THAT situation arises?”

Once you’ve talked through the tough parts, flip things around and discover what they can be excited about. Are they eager to meet new classmates, catch up with familiar faces, or perhaps just stoked about their tasty lunches or unwind after classes? By identifying hurdles and highlights, you’ll empower them to develop healthier perspectives while embracing life’s ups and downs. 

5. Personalize Greetings

Create special greetings or rituals for before and after school. It could be a phrase, handshake, or silly song when they return. Having this will help them ease into the day and have something to look forward to when they return. 

For kids with anxiety, it may be too much pressure to have a good day if they have to overcome challenges or obstacles as they navigate through their school year. Instead of telling them to “have a good day” try “have a day”. This way they know that you’re their biggest supporter whatever happens during school, whether it’s a challenge or a win. They don’t always have to have the best day and you can work through all challenges together. 

6. Make it Exciting 

Take your kids shopping for school accessories like a new backpack, journal or book covers. Let them choose ways to personalize their stationery like stickers or pictures of their favorite cartoon characters or animals. 

You can also encourage them to pick healthy snacks for their first week and discuss lunch options. Giving them that choice will help them feel more in control and get them excited about returning to school. 

7. Be Mindful of Your Temperament

Sometimes your kid’s stress is a reaction to your unease or anxiety. Even if you’re nervous, especially if your kid is starting grade school or they’re a new kid on the block, try to be calm and positive. Get them talking about things to look forward to. Maybe joining the soccer team or the after-school art club. 

Helping Your Child with First-Day Jitters

There you have it – effective methods to transform your kiddo’s first-day trepidation into curiosity and excitement. Building strong emotional bonds based on love and support is crucial in shaping their overall academic experience. As you implement these gentle strategies, keep encouraging open communication, express gratitude for their efforts, and celebrate every small victory. 

Before you realize it, those once nerve-wracking days will become memorable milestones filled with growth and accomplishment. Wishing your family all the best in navigating the beautiful world of education!


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