How to help your kids deal with back-to-school jitters

Are your kids nervous about going back to school? Ease their fears and doubts with our expert tips for helping your kids deal with back-to-school jitters.

By Jen Kirsch

How to help your kids deal with back-to-school jitters
©iStockphoto.com/Chris Bernard Photography
It's just about that time again, when summer comes to a close and your kids have to start thinking about heading back to the classroom. With the return to school often comes nerves, concerns and a bit of fear about what the new school year will hold. While it's understandable for kids to be apprehensive about summer ending, there are a few simple ways to relieve their anxiety.

Tamara McPherson, founder of wondermoms.ca, a parenting resource and online community for families, says it's important to prepare your children for the return to school before the first day. That way you can ease them back into a daily routine and give them the confidence they need to head back to class without any stress about impending homework, new teachers or making new friends. Here are her suggestions.

1. Let your kids take charge
Take your children shopping for back-to-school supplies and allow them to choose everything themselves. "I print off my children's school supply list and allow them to pick out their own supplies, backpacks, lunch bags and labels within a budget I set," says McPherson.

Her reasoning? "I find if my children are allowed to make their own decisions, they are less likely to rebel against going back to school, and it eases their nerves." Kids are also more likely to be careful with their belongings when they picked them out themselves.

2. Role-play
Once the school supplies have been purchased, why not suggest playing school as a way to get your kids psyched up for the real thing? Have your children walk around wearing their bags, pack their supplies, read their new books or play with their new school items as a way to get them more comfortable with the idea of going back to class, says McPherson.

"We allow their imaginations to ease the stress," she explains. "This also builds the independence which is required at school."

Page 1 of 2 -- Discover three more ways to help your kids get past their back-to-school jitters on page 2.

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