- Express interest and enthusiasm about the start of the school year. If you are confident and excited, your child will be too.
- Take a walk around the school with your child and locate his or her classrooms, lunchroom, playground and restrooms.
- Take time to listen to your child and discuss aspects of the new school year that he or she is worried about. Remember to let your child know that it's normal to feel nervous. For younger children, suggest that your child take a family photo or special object to school.
- Spend time each day talking to your child about what happened in school.
- Praise and encourage your child to become involved with school activities and try new things.
- Attend school functions and stay involved in your child's education.
- Make a point to learn about how your child develops not just physically, but socially and emotionally, as well. Anxiety and stress about starting school is normal for a child and usually passes within the first few days or weeks. If your child continues to seem anxious or stressed, it may be time to seek help. Talk to your child's pediatrician about what you can do as a parent.
Mental Health America of Greater Indianapolis www.mhaindy.net