Evidence-Based Strategies that Parents Can Use to Reduce Back-To-School Anxiety

Feeling anxious about the first day of school is common. It is a time of change and there can be many unknowns. For some children, the intensity of anxiety can become overwhelming and impact their ability to function. They may experience many, many thoughts and questions floating in their minds about their new class, teacher, friends, and school. These thoughts can become difficult to control as they multiply and repeat themselves. Examples of negative thoughts may be:

· “What if the teacher doesn’t like me?”

· “What if I do or say something stupid?

· “This is going to be awful”

· “Something horrible could happen.”

· “I may get sick and throw up in front of everyone”

· “I’m going to be by myself at lunch with no one to talk to me.”

· “What if my friends don’t like me anymore?”

· “What if they make fun of my clothes?”