The first day of school is quickly approaching. Adjusting to a new school, teachers, classes, and people can be difficult. It can be easy to feel overwhelmed and vulnerable.
Will I fit in? Will I find my classes? What if I get lost? What if I can’t make any new friends?
Whether your child is starting middle school or high school, it’s common to have the jitters. Here are some things you can do with your child that will support them through this time of transition.
1. Having a Discussion
Create a safe space where your child feels comfortable opening up about their worries. Ask open-ended questions to get a better understanding of what their concerns are. Work together to come up with solutions to ease your child’s nerves.
2. Becoming Familiar With The School
Attend informational sessions hosted by the school with your child. Tour the campus and identify important areas like administrative offices, the library, the cafeteria, and bathrooms. Practice walking from class to class to become familiarized with the school.
3. Helping Your Child Feel Prepared
Allow your child to pick out an outfit for the first day of school. Take them shopping for school supplies. Spend some time together packing their backpack and preparing lunch. Helping your child feel ready for school can help boost confidence, self-esteem and a sense of independence.
4. Exploring Extra-Curricular Activities
If your child is worried about making new friends, encourage your child to explore school sports, clubs or extracurricular activities. This is a great way for your child to meet others who have similar interests and hobbies. It may also increase their sense of belonging at the school and improve their social skills.
5. Creating A Routine
It’s easy to get into the habit of staying up late and sleeping in during the summer. Work with your child to come up with a routine that you can start practicing during the days leading up to the start of school. This will help your child ease into having a structured schedule again for a smooth transition.
6. Managing Stress
Become familiar with the signs that could indicate your child is experiencing anxiety. Brainstorm coping techniques together that can be done at home and at school to reduce feelings of nervousness.