Anxieties In Starting A New School Year

As a child, one of the most monumental moments of your life is the start of school. There is so much excitement that builds up about being part of a classroom, picking out the perfect backpack, riding the bus, and making new friends. With all of this anticipation often comes anxiety, illness, and exhaustion which leads to the perfect storm of emotions for our young students.

Directing a preschool, you also begin to see parents struggling with these anxieties to an overwhelming point. We have identified the top three struggles and how to contend with them using the right techniques.

1. SEPARATION ANXIETY
Children struggle with changes that may occur in their schedule or routine when they are presented with unfamiliar faces or places including “goodbyes” to their parents. Separation anxiety is a normal and necessary part of development where a child will show signs of regression, anger, crying, and sadness. The best fix for separation anxiety is always to be consistent, have a goodbye routine, and stay strong. Settling into a new routine from our experience will take anywhere from one week to one month.
2. SPREADING GERMS
As your child begins any school of any type, the spread of germs and communicable diseases are inevitably spread. Expect your child to come home with some type of cold, stomach virus, or rash within the first six months. Just like separation anxiety, seeing our little one’s sick can tug at your heartstrings. Allowing exposure to these germs can actually have positive effects on building antibodies in their immune system that will make them more resilient to viruses as they age. Exposure at a young age allows antibodies to build stronger and faster.
3. BALANCING SCHEDULES AND EXHAUSTION
When the school year begins it usually follows with more scheduling “to do’s” that surface like extracurriculars, events, and priority lists. Balancing all of these can almost bring you into an exhausted state of depression where you experience burnout. Remember to slow down! Take a moment to breathe and appreciate what is causing all of the franticness in the first place by spending quality time with your children and simply take the time to play. Laughter and exercise can actually increase endorphins that bind to the opioid receptors in the brain similar to the effects of pain killers.
Staying on top of these anxieties and allowing your child and yourself to deal with these difficulties will create a positive and successful school year. We are always available to speak to you directly and provide resources for anything that you may have concerns about that we can work through with your family.
A list of insightful articles that cover more specifics on these topics:

http://www.pbs.org/parents/education/going-to-school/starting-school/separation-anxiety/
https://www.babble.com/baby/better-to-get-sick-when-young-kids-immunity/
https://www.helpguide.org/articles/stress/burnout-prevention-and-recovery.htm
https://www.pinterest.com/brenwoodacademy/time-saving-tips-for-busy-parents/