Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Back to School Anxiety

My kids have all been talking about school starting. As much as they are so excited to go back, there is also some anxiety related to the start of school every year. This year is no exception.

I found a couple of great articles that have some great ideas on how to ease the transition into school. The first one is here by Dr. Daniel Klein. He has some great ideas, including talking about back to school fears, creating a calendar, visiting the classroom and teacher, talking to your child about friendships, and beginning the back to school routine early.

With adopted children, back to school anxiety can be especially hard, especially when trauma is involved. Anxiety can be increased, especially during life transitions. This wonderful article by Becky Wilson link discusses these issues and gives some great suggestions. Taking your child’s anxiety seriously, communicating with your child’s teacher and openly talking about fears are the suggestions that this article gives.

What has your family done to make the school transition in the fall go more smoothly?

Karen Maunu


  1. My 8 year old is starting to worry that her new 3rd grade teacher won't like her. I try to get her to determine how the teacher will react by asking her questions instead of just trying to reassure her.

    -What kind of behavior do you think teachers like? Do you behave that way?

    -Do you remember what your 2nd grade teacher liked about you? I remember her saying she liked how kind you were to other students.

    -Do you remember the kindergarten rule that says "listen to the teacher the first time"? Do you think your new teacher likes that rule?

    Her other worry is not knowing the answers to questions. While as adults, we know the point of school is to learn, from the child's perspective, they get asked LOTS of questions. So my poor kid just gets asked more questions :)

    -Did you know sometimes teachers ask questions to find out what you already know? If you don't know that helps the teacher know where to start the lesson.

    -If you don't know, do you think that other kids in the class know?

  2. Our daughter is not stressed yet, but it will come. Last Christmas, after the week break, she was REALLY stressed. Turned out to be over math and having difficulty. So it took some time but we got her extra help at school. So know when she is stressed, we use that as an exmaple. I explain, remember when you told mommy how hard math was, and I got you extra help... and reminder her if she tells me what is wrong and I can try to help her.

    Sometimes the hard part is for her to figure out what the fear or stress is. So mostly we talk to see what it is that has her nervous.

    Great suggestions.