What Parents Think About Back-to-School Anxiety

August 28, 2019

Posted in: Children, Parenting Tips, School, Summer

Back to school
The first day of school can be a source of anxiety for children and parents alike. In July, we surveyed a thousand parents about back-to-school anxiety. The results reinforced how common it is to feel nervous about heading back to school. Three quarters (75%) of the parents interviewed acknowledged that their children experience at least some degree of anxiety when school restarts. Among other results we found:

  • 82% of respondents have open conversations with their children about back-to-school anxiety
  • 63% of respondents say mom is the most upset member of the family on the first day of school
  • 58% of respondents said as parents, they feel separation anxiety at the start of a new school year
  • 57% of respondents think it’s better to leave, trusting teachers to soothe a child who’s upset at drop-off
  • 57% of respondents said their child is most likely to be cautious, yet excited to explore on the first day of school

Tips from our experts

We’ve had lots of experience dealing with first days of school since Kiddie Academy® Educational Child Care first opened in 1981. Yes, it can be a hard day, but handled properly, it can be exciting and fun, too. “Talking about the first day of school well in advance will help to gain excitement and momentum prior to that date,” said Richard Peterson, Kiddie Academy Vice President of Education. “Children gain excitement and comfort when they’re well prepared, and this includes their first day of the school year. Talk to them about meeting new friends and learning new things. Soon they’ll be asking you each morning if this is the first day of school.”

Peterson said that Kiddie Academy teachers are prepared to help children overcome their anxieties. “They’ll focus on daily routines and classroom procedures. When children expect and understand routines, it helps relieve nervousness. We also focus on community by meeting new classmates and friends. Teachers create ice breakers and getting-to-know-you activities. For parents, our Academies conduct back-to-school nights to review curriculum, routines and activities.”

In an article we wrote with Working Mother magazine , we offered some other tips on how you can help ensure first-day-of-school success for your child:

  1. Have an open conversation about back-to-school anxieties
  2. Encourage excitement
  3. Make school preparation special
  4. Have everything ready the night before
  5. Bring a small item from home to remind them they’ll be back soon

Here are some articles about back-to-school anxiety, with more useful tips on how to manage the situation:

How to Cope with Back-to-School Anxiety” – PBS Parents
Back to School Tips for Parents” – PBS Parents
Back to School Anxiety” – Child Mind Institute
5 Tips to Ease Back-to-School Anxiety” – Johns Hopkins Medicine
 
 
 
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