Nothing sparks anxiety in both parents and children like the thought of the first day of school. As a new school year approaches, children may begin to ask questions about what their new school will be like, if their teachers will be nice, and if any of their friends will be there.
Often, you can get a sense of how your child is feeling based on the questions he/she asks.
Pay attention to both the questions and your child’s body language.
Does he/she seem excited? curious? anxious?
It’s completely normal for both you and your child to feel a mix of all of these.
Here are some of my all-time favorite books for beating the back-to-school jitters:
Find a time when you and your child can read together without distractions. Finding a cozy place to sit together, a couch, a bed or even a rug on the floor works helps.
As you read, take your time. Pause before turning the pages, and let your child take in your words and the pictures. This allows time for thinking. Some questions may be answered and new ones may come up. All of this will help your child process the experience.
Make connections between the book and your child’s experience. For example, you can ask: “do you think your new classroom will have blocks like this?” or “are you excited to play on the playground too?”
Acknowledge what your child is saying, reassure them that whatever they’re feeling is normal. If your child seems nervous, tell them about a time you felt nervous about something.
Re-read these books as often as you like!