How to ease back-to-school anxiety

Crystal Cox

Every summer, I say the same things and hear them echoed by friends and family: “This summer has flown by.” “I can’t believe it’s almost time for school to start again.” As an educator and a mom, maybe I get a double whammy of back-to-school anxiety. It’s common this time of year to be freaking out just a little. Anxiety weighs especially heavy on some of our children as the beginning of the year is just around the corner.

With God’s help, you can ease your child’s anxiety as the new school year begins.

In Proverbs 16:3, we are promised, “Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and he will establish your plans.” With God’s help, there are some steps you can take to ease your child’s anxiety as the new school year begins.

Ask for God’s Help

Pray with your child. Philippians 4:6-7 teaches us truth we can apply as we prepare our children for the school year. “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

When we are anxious, we can turn our worries over to God through prayer. As we do this, He offers peace over the situation. Teach your child those verses and pray together.

  • Pray for your child’s teacher, for her anxieties and preparation.
  • Pray for your child to learn lots of fun things this year.
  • Pray for your family to transition well into new routines.
  • Pray for new and old friendships.

Prepare Your Child

A big cause of anxiety is the unknown. Eliminate as many unknowns as you can. You will have several different opportunities during the summer and first weeks of school to make school more familiar to your child.

  • Attend registration day with your child. Here he will find out his teacher’s name, what he will need for school, and maybe the names of some classmates.
  • Attend an open house. This is a great opportunity to make your child more familiar with the school and classroom.
  • Take your child with you to buy their school supplies. Children love this part of starting school. It will build some positive feelings if your child gets to pick some special items to use every day.
  • Read books to your child about the beginning of school. These books deal with school anxiety in a positive, child-centered way.
  • Consider having an older child talk to your child about what to expect from the new grade or teacher.
  • Get your child back into school routines early. The week before school, consider gradually getting your child back into a school bedtime and wake-up time.

Encourage Your Child

It is very important your child knows you understand how they feel and you’re there to support him. Encourage your child through the anxieties of back-to-school.

Seek God’s guidance as you guide your child through the next few weeks and you will help ease his back-to-school anxiety.

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