As the fun of Labor Day fades into the recesses of all of our memories, most children have returned to school. It is normal for kids to experience some anxiety about going back to school, so unless the anxiety is related to a specific problem, such as bullying, school anxiety isn't necessarily cause for concern. In such a scenario, therapy can help you both adjust. But if what you're facing are just normal back-to-school jitters, here's what you can do to take the edge off.
Getting ready for school, doing homework, and choosing what to wear become infinitely easier when everything is accessible to you and your child. Try pre-making meals the week before, laying out your child's clothes each night, and devising a regular schedule for homework, cleaning, and other daily tasks.
Ask Specific Questions
Rather than inquiring how your child's day was or what she did, get more specific so you can get the information you want. Try some of the following open-ended questions:
Who did you sit with at lunch today?
What was the best part of your day? The worst?
Which kid do you like the least, and why?
What's the best thing your teacher did this week?
Did you learn anything I don't know about or don't know how to do? What can you teach me?
Keep Having Fun
Many parents think the return to school means an end to gleeful summer nights, but this attitude is a recipe for anxiety. Schedule a fun family activity every week so you can keep enjoying the leisure of summer, even as balmy evenings give way to chilly nights.
If your child has difficulties adjusting to school, is being bullied, or has no friends, don't wait for her to fix the problem on her own. Early interventions can save both you and your child plenty of grief. For many families, counseling works well to address these problems.