Tuesday, August 24, 2010
"Mommy, I'm never going to see you anymore!" That's not true. His day won't be any longer than what it has been all summer. He will go to babysitter after school and I will pick him up at 5:40 - just like I do every single night. So I explained that to him.
"But mommy, I have bad handwriting! Mrs. Krueser is going to make me do my work over and over again. Or, if I write slow(ly) I will always be the last one done!" He is sobbing as he says this. I told him that he needs to slow down so his hand writing is more neat. Yes, that is what Mrs. Donohue said over and over in 1st grade. I reminded him that he got nothing but good grades last year and the Mrs. Krueser (Khegan had her last year) is a very nice teacher. Also, I pointed out that even if he is never has the neatest handwriting, he will never have the worst either.
"Mommy, what if none of my friends are in my class?" I explained to him that he would have some kids in his class that he knows from last year, but would meet some new friends too.
"But mommy, 2nd grade has recess with 1st grade so I will never see my brother or my friend Zane (neighbor boy) during recess!" I told him he would have plenty of time to play with Khegan and Zane after school.
I thought the anxiety would die down after the Meet n Greet on Monday night, but it only seemed to make things worse. Riley has always been a "slow to warm up" kinda kid. However, once he warmed up all bets were off! He is then super outgoing, if not bossy, and is very charismatic - all the other kids want to be his friend. So it amazes me how he has this anxiety every year before school starts.
Every time he gets anxious I do what I've been trained to do, as a social worker, to help dispell the anxiety. I address his fears and explain why they are irrational. We talk about ways for him to make new friends. (Which he usually does very easily once he warms up.) He has been to the school. He has met his teacher. He has seen his classroom. He knows how his day will go. I've encouraged him by pointing out that he is smart and cute and funny and kids like him. Still, it does not seem to be doing the trick.
Have your kids ever had back to school anxiety? If so how have you helped them to overcome it?
Here is a great article I found on Ease Back to School Anxiety and how to help calm your child's fears.