First Day Of School Prep For Anxious Children: Child Anxiety Counseling MI

school prep

The first day of school is scary for everyone, especially children with anxiety. Anxious children often need to be familiar with their surroundings in order to feel safe and calm. Getting thrown into the first day of school is the opposite of “familiar,” but there are some things you can do to make the process easier. Here are some school prep tips for children with anxiety, courtesy of our child anxiety counseling center in Michigan.

Tour The School Ahead Of Time

Most schools will have multiple opportunities for parents and students to tour the facility before the first day. Open houses, “meet the teacher” days, enrollment, orientation, and other events provide you with a chance to take your child to school to get familiar with the rooms. Walk with your child to each of his or her classes. Find a path from each of those classes to the child’s locker, and go over that path several times. Ideally, you should make a couple visits to the school to ensure that your child remembers where the classes are, where his or her locker is, what the locker combination is, and where important parts of the school are (gym, cafeteria, etc.). You may get a few eye rolls from your child, but this prep work will make a big difference when school starts.

Get Into A School-Like Routine A Couple Weeks Before

Create a school-like schedule for your child before school actually starts. This will include a set bed time, wake up time, get ready time, etc. You should plan out meals as close to their school times as possible. If your child normally gets play time after school, you could set that up before school starts. The goal here is to get your child into a routine so the first day of school feels natural. Routines are very important for children with anxiety.

Don’t Wait Until The Last Minute To Buy School Supplies

If you wait until the last minute to buy school supplies, you may not be able to find everything you need before the first day. This means that your child will either show up to school empty-handed, or he or she will have to tell the teacher about the missing supplies. This is a lot of pressure for a child with anxiety.

Of course, some instances like this are unavoidable. If you cannot get all of your child’s school supplies in advance, contact the teacher(s) about the issue. See if there are any alternative supplies you can buy or if there will be ones available at the school. Taking this pressure off your child will once again allow him to focus on school itself.

Ask Your Child What He’s Most Nervous About – And Reassure Him Along The Way

Talk to your child before the first day of school to find out what he is most anxious about. Once you know his fears, you can work on conquering them before school starts. For instance, if your child is worried about not having any friends at school, you could try to meet some other parents during the open house or parent teacher night. You could also encourage your child to play with other kids in the neighborhood around his age so he sees familiar faces in the halls.

There is always a way to combat a child’s anxiety. You just have to find it. By working with one of our child anxiety counselors in Michigan, you can learn unique techniques to reduce your child’s anxiety symptoms. Contact Perspectives Of Troy Counseling Centers to learn more.