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Parents often ask how to minimize any back-to-school jitters their children may experience.

We thought presenting a few ideas that have worked for other families in similar situations may help.

Take a look at the ideas below that can positively impact the start of your child’s new school year. Don’t forget to listen to any concerns they may have actively, and whenever possible, talk through them and work out a solution together.

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Back-to-school jitters for parents

Late summer is the perfect time to build your child’s coping skills, as the start of a new school year can be an anxiety-producing experience. The more you encourage them to talk about their nervousness, the better. Sometimes just saying things out loud can be enough. Your child may fear that their teacher may not like them or that they won’t make friends. These tips will help to allay some of those fears.

Attend meet-the-teacher events

When your child can meet the people they will be interacting with before school begins, it can go a long way toward easing any discomfort they may be feeling. It makes sense to attend any Open House or preschool event your school hosts.

In addition to allaying any fears your child may have, it is also a good time for you to meet their teachers and begin to connect with them. If your child has allergies or ailments or requires accommodation, this is an appropriate time to address those needs. You can also tell the teacher that your child feels uneasy about starting the new school year.

Schedule play-dates before the school year starts

The Open House is also a great opportunity to meet the parents of the other children in your child’s grade. Take the time to speak with them, and if it feels right, suggest a play date for your kids to get to know each other better before school starts. Your child will feel much more secure about starting the new year when they feel like they already have a “built-in” friend.

Playdates don’t always form fast friendships immediately, but they are a great way to help your child spend some time with another student who may feel the same way. Having a familiar face to say hello to on the first day can make a huge difference in how your child’s first day unfolds. Should the two children become close friends, all the better? Don’t put too many expectations on your child for the outcome of the get-together.

Create a checklist for materials

Choosing their school supplies for the year can be fun for any child. Another great activity is to plan a few lunch options for the first week of school. Take your child with you when purchasing their supplies, and make the shopping outing a fun way for you to spend time together. Allow them to choose the supplies they want while adhering to the list of required items. Favorite colors, action stars, and other distinctions are a great way for your child to get excited about school. Make shopping for school supplies an outing with lunch or another special treat before or after. Having something to focus on rather than all of their fears can help your child handle their anxiety and relax more.

Make the time leading up to the new school year as exciting as possible. Answer any questions they may have as best as possible, and let them know that their nervousness is normal. Remind your child of other “firsts” that they’ve done and how comfortable they felt after just a day or two in the new environment. Positive reinforcement and understanding are key in such situations as these.

Back-to-school jitters are just part of the process for many students. Addressing their fears head-on while suggesting strategies for overcoming them is usually enough to help them feel more comfortable before the big day!