Back to School Jitters are something I feel like every child (and parent) has had at some point. It’s not easy to jump back into the waters of back to school time. Not to mention if you’re a little one starting school for the very first time. It’s a big milestone and it’s something that little ones (rightfully so) get overwhelmed and stressed about. I’m all about doing everything and anything I can to alleviate the anxiety and jitters.
Back to School Jitters: How to Cope
I spoke about back to school jitters on The Rhode Show this morning because I just went through this with my Victoria last year. She was starting Kindergarten and very, very nervous about it. What struck me was that Victoria had always been so excited to start “big girl” school. We’d been talking about it since she could first understand that she was going to school. When I saw her start to shut down, it worried me.
I wasn’t sure what to do because I didn’t want to make the jitters worse, but I also didn’t want to pretend that it wasn’t happening. I knew I needed to do something and quick. I decided that the best “plan of action” was to talk about her back to school jitters head on. I didn’t want her to feel that she couldn’t tell me what was wrong and why she was feeling so much anxiety about the start of school.
When I got to the root of it, she was really nervous that she didn’t have any friends in her class with her. That was it. That was the cause of the sleepless nights and the tears as we drove by the school. When I was able to identify that issue, I was able to “fix” it as best as I could. I reached out to the teacher and other moms to find out who was in her class and tried to get some playdates on the calendar before that start of school.
I was happy today to share some advice and some tips because it’s NOT always easy and it can be super stressful for the kids and the parents. I know I was having sleepless nights just like her! I wanted to make sure everything was going smoothly and that her transition would be a seamless one. I didn’t want her to be scared of starting school, I wanted her to be excited!
To recap some advice for Back to School Jitters:
1. Talk to you child: I know this advice sounds like common sense, but many times we’re worried about talking to our children because we don’t want to make it worse. We don’t want to make it this blaring issue and have them get extra nervous. The good thing about discussing it is that you can easily figure out and identify what is wrong and do what you can to fix it. I’m all about finding solutions to problems. Talking about it does help. If it’s something you can easily fix, you’ll be so glad that you just talked it out.
2. Chat with your pediatrician: Doctors are wonderful resources to turn to for situations like this. They’ve been there and they’ve seen it all. They might be able to help you talk through the experience or situation with your child, too. Don’t feel that you’re in the corner by yourself. Make sure you have a “team” in place that can and will be there to help you out.
3. Talk to other moms and dads: This is a BIG one because this is what helped us out last year. As I said above, Victoria was concerned about not knowing anyone. As soon as we identified that problem we were able to “fix” it. I was able to find moms and dads out there with kids in her class and set up playdates. It was as easy as that for her. Don’t be afraid to reach out and make the transition into back to school easier by setting up playdates. It doesn’t matter what grade your child is in, connecting with other students ALWAYS helps.
4. Connect with their teacher(s): When you know your child is experiencing back to school jitters, reach out to the people that he/she will be with the most throughout the day – the teachers. The good thing is that teachers are trained for this and they know what to do and how to help alleviate these situations for kids. Teachers are your very best line of defense for back to school jitters because they are there to help make sure your child transitions well. Make sure they are made aware of the situation at hand, too.
5. Read books and watch shows: Depending on the age of your child, one really great tip is to read books together or watch some TV shows/movies of first day of school jitters. Back to school jitters are so common that there are tons of books out there to help. Make sure you bring some of those into your personal library at home and read these stories with your child. Let them know they’re not alone. Let them know that it’s normal and something that everyone goes through to some degree.
Back to school time is a transition that will be here and gone so quickly! It’s something that all kids go through and it’s something that all parents go through with them. I love being able to be armed with tips and advice that will make my child’s back to school jitters a little less jittery. It’s something that requires patience and love and support.
I have documented some of our back to school days and first day of school jitters on our personal YouTube page. Love for you to check it out and see what you think. As you can imagine with 5 kids, we’ve had our share at home with back to school nerves and jitters. I go through it, too!
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