Reducing Back to School Anxiety

Reducing Back to School Anxiety

Whether attending school for the first time ever, starting at a new school, or returning to school after summer break is a big step. Parents can have the same anxiety as their child. Here are some helpful tips.

New spaces

  • For young children explain step by step how their day will go.
  • Visit the school and schoolyard. Take the opportunity to meet teachers or walk schedule.


  • Acknowledge their feelings and yours.
  • Let them know it is okay to be nervous.
  • Give them the space and time to talk and share their fears and what is on their mind.
  • Establish bedtimes and morning routines.

School supplies

  • Practice using new backpack zippers, lunch boxes , using buttons and tying shoes.
  • Older students should practice using school login, platforms and apps
  • Don’t forget to practice opening locks and memorizing combinations .
  • Ask your child to choose outfits for first week of school
  • Together pack backpack so they know what is inside.

Friends and Teachers

  • Talk about shared likes and interest.
  • If time permits, set up a play date with classmates.

Once School Starts

  • Let your child know what to expect.
  • Add a “ love note” in a child’s lunch or pencil case to ease separation anxiety.
  • If your child is super nervous, give them an item of yours to hold for the day.
  • After school, ask your child to tell you the three most memorable things from their day.
  • Praise your child for brave behavior.

New Normal

  • Visit pediatrician. Make sure your child is up to date with all recommended vaccines.
  • Practice proper hand hygiene and explain why it is important.
  • Be familiar with school water policy. Pack a water bottle if allowed.
  • Talk about precautions at their school, fire drills, tornado or earthquake drill, and intruder drills.

Remember, you’ve got this!