Momma Told Me: Dealing With Anxious Children During The Back To School Season

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Friday, August 2, 2013

Dealing With Anxious Children During The Back To School Season

***This article was published in association with ASDA. All text within was provided as a guest post exclusively for Momma Told Me Blog.
Momma Told Me: Ease into it.

I keep hearing remarks around the neighborhood about how fast the Summer has flown by. While it is true that July came and went with a blink of an eye, August still remains entirely devoted to Summer, in our little corner of the world. As an August baby, I always dreaded this month, particularly for the fact that I knew my birthday would mark the last week of Summer, and my gifts would inevitably be full of less than exciting back-to-school staples. (Let's just say backpacks didn't come with iPod docks and built in speakers when I was a kid.) Ironically, as Summer begins to enter the home stretch, both kids and parents seem to become just as anxious for the end of Summer, as they were for it to begin.

Just as it is with adults, some children deal with change better than others. Some kids can move house or schools any number of times without so much as batting an eyelid, but for an anxious child just having to change routine for the school holidays can be difficult. The summer holiday is particularly long, and having got your child into the swing of being home, or at a holiday club, they then have to be uprooted again ready for going back to school in September. For kids that find transitions hard, it simply won’t do to spring the new term on them, walk them to the school gates and expect them to march happily into their new classroom. But there are some steps you can take to make the change more manageable for your child. Letting the new term sneak up and giving your child just a few days notice of the new term will not help them. Instead maybe keep a calendar within reach and explain which day will be back to school time. Involving your child in the process of getting everything organized will really help too. Don’t worry about a big stressful summer holiday trip to the high street; you can get everything you need from George at Asda and at great value too. They have everything including school shoes, pants socks, jumpers and George at ASDA's range of school trousers to name just a few. Kids will like being included in the process as it makes them feel grown up and in control of the looming first day back. 

By getting ready before it’s time to actually go back to school you are in danger of cutting the summer holidays short, something that no one wants to do! As well as starting the transition, plan a big last fun day out for your son or daughter to enjoy in advance of the new term. This gives an anxious child something fun to focus on instead of becoming fixated on that first school morning. The last big summer holiday activity can be whatever you would like it to be, a day out to a theme park, camping in the garden, a trip to the swimming pool or whatever else you know your child would really enjoy. This effectively says goodbye to the summer and makes the distinction clear between the two periods.
Some kids are anxious about school because they struggle with the school work. Take some time over the summer to listen to them read or do some writing. In our household, Sabrina(10) is expected to keep up daily reading throughout the Summer. Try to make it fun, as holidays are no time for sitting working through workbooks; think classic comics like Garfield and Calvin and Hobbes. Ask them to keep a holiday diary as this encourages them to write but is also fun at the same time, and can even prepare them for that inevitable 'What I Did This Summer' essay they'll have to write.

Come September they may feel a little more confident in their abilities, and less pushed back into a school routine.Preparation and communication with your child is key for a smooth transition back to school. Keep an open dialogue with them so that they know they can voice any concerns to you, and get them involved with getting everything ready, as giving them responsibility for their own things puts them back in control and can ease anxiety. The more excitement for school, the easier it will be to move back into learning and studying when the time comes!

What Daughter Says: Don't let back to school season sneak up on you, talk with your child and begin preparing now to make the process easier on everyone.


  1. My son is taking 2 correspondence courses this summer to help him brush up on some classes that he didn't do well in. Hopefully he'll be more self confident when school starts.

  2. Luckily my kids are young so no anxiousness yet. However, I remember very well being so anxious for school!

  3. Great tips! My nieces and nephews vary between "can't wait for school to start" and "do we have to go back already?" I miss being near them at this time of year.

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