6 Ways to Calm Back-to-School Jitters

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Being a teacher I think I look forward to summer vacation more than most of my students. Now that it’s almost time to go back, I’m starting to feel a case of back-to-school-jitters coming on. My 9-week stint as a SAHM is coming to and end. I have to admit part of me is really excited for the new school year and getting back into a routine. This past week I got my class list and started shopping for supplies. I’m already brainstorming new things I want to try for the upcoming school year. At the same time I’m always a little anxious about meeting my new students.

BUT this year my jitters are little bit more jittery because my oldest son will be starting preschool! I’m so nervous for him, and excited at the same time. Over the last few weeks we have been talking about school nonstop. He has so many questions! I also am wondering many things myself. Will he be able to do things independently and follow directions? Will he make friends easily? Will he share embarrassing stories about our family?

As a teacher of young children, I know that no matter what he will do fine and eventually love school. But I’ve been trying a few simple things to help ease his nerves (and my anxiety) of going back to school.get-attachment-4.aspx

1. Set Up a Play Date: If possible try and set up a play date either before school or within the first week or two of going back. I was lucky enough to have received a class list early on and recognized a name on the list (coincidently my childhood BFF). I sent a quick message via Facebook and we set a time for our boys to meet. It’s always helpful in any new situation to recognize a familiar face.
2. Visit or Tour the School: Although our school does not have an official open house prior to the start of school, I have driven by on several occasions. We have even stopped and played on the playground for a bit. I find with my son it is easier for him to make connections when he can visualize what I’m talking about. The idea of “school” to him is still so foreign.

New stuff for school!
New stuff for school!

3. Back to School Shopping: Check with your school to see if there are any supplies that your child might need. It’s always reassuring to know that you will be prepared for the first day. We’ve already gone out and picked out a new pair of sneakers at “Daddy’s Store” aka The Authentic Athlete.  I also let him choose a new lunch box and first day of school outfit. When I give choices it helps create more independence and excitement.
4. Share Your Experiences: My kiddos love when I tell them stories, especially ones starring me as a little girl. I’ve even pulled out my mom’s old photo albums and shared some of my first-day-of-school pics. Although I barely remember how I felt at his age, I want to reassure him that all his feelings are normal and talk him through possible scenarios.
5. Allow Time For Questions: It seems like my son’s questions about school randomly pop up throughout the day. I make a conscious effort to stop what I am doing and answer his questions (even the silly ones) as honestly as possible. Do they have toilets there? Do they have toys? Will I get lollipops? Can Carl (our French bulldog) come too?
6. Make Jitter Glitter: When all else fails appeal to your child’s innocence, and magically make the jitters glitterjitter glitter poemdisappear. A few years ago a colleague of mine shared an amazing idea she had found online.* Each year at my class Meet and Greet I leave out this adorable poem and a small bag full of jitter glitter for my students to take home and place under their pillow to help ease their nerves. I’m definitely going to be sharing it with my son the night before school, as well as reading my favorite back-to-school book, “The First Day Jitters.”

Don’t forget teachers get the jitters too! Good luck this school year with your kiddos! Please comment below with any other suggestions to calm your family’s back-to-school jitters.

*I am unsure of the original creator of “jitter glitter,” however there are tons of sites that offer ideas and free downloads…just Google “jitter glitter.”

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Michelle is the Owner and Editor of Fairfield County Mom and Westchester County Mom. She has spent her entire life in Fairfield County, growing up in Norwalk and now residing in Fairfield, CT. Michelle married her husband Chris in October of 2008. Before motherhood, she thought she was busy, but now life with her son Shane (March 2011), twins, Blake and Brynn (June 2013), Carl the French bulldog, and Hank the Lab; the meaning of hectic has been redefined! Michelle is also a working mom, teaching at a local public school. When she’s not doing laundry, creating lesson plans, and picking up toys, Michelle enjoys hosting her book club, watching Bravo TV, eating dark chocolate and enjoying an extra large glass of wine.

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