First Day of School Anxiety: School Bell Blues

We know the mixed emotions accompanying your child’s first day of school. ‘First day of school anxiety’ may be a typical problem you have to deal with.

In this article, we at Omega Pediatrics will delve into the subject and look at practical ideas for assisting your child through the transition. Whether your child is excited or scared about beginning school, we’re here to help your kid overcome his school bell blues!

Mother and father helping daughter to do homework learning to calculate school anxiety

What is First Day of School Anxiety?

If your child is nervous or worried about going to school, they may have school anxiety. This is also known as school phobia or school rejection.

It’s normal for kids to experience some anxiety before starting school or attending a new school. However, children with school anxiety endure extremely high levels of fear and worry over regular attendance. This may affect their ability to attend courses or do well in school.

Common Symptoms

  • Behavioral Symptoms

Your child claims to be sick, has crying spells, has heavy tantrums, and refuses to go to his classes.

  • Emotional Symptoms

Your child experiences sadness, nervousness, irritability, and fear when it’s time to go to school.

  • Physical Symptoms

Your child sweats profusely, has a rapid heartbeat, and experiences headaches, stomach aches, dizziness, and/or shortness of breath before class.

Potential Causes and Contributing Factors

It should be emphasized that refusing to attend school isn’t recognized as a mental illness. The root causes of the fear and concern that come with school anxiety are:

  • Being bullied in school
  • social or performance issues
  • negative school experiences in daycare or preschool
  • prolonged stay at home, such as over the summer, or due to sickness
  • stressful situations such as house relocation, loss of a family member, or domestic issues

According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5), the symptoms may be linked to mental disorders, including depression, generalized anxiety disorder, oppositional defiant disorder, PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder), social anxiety disorder, and specific phobias.

Mother learning child to calculate, black mother and daughter school anxiety

School Anxiety: Impact on Children’s Well-Being and Academic Performance

Nothing makes us happier than seeing our children grow emotionally and academically. However, school anxiety might harm our children’s well-being and academic performance.

Mental Health

The indicators of school anxiety among children manifest through increased stress, mental anguish, physical ailments, and social disengagement. These may harm the child’s social relationships, self-esteem, and general mental health.

The symptoms may negatively impact your child’s overall well-being.

 Academic Performance

School anxiety can affect your child’s academic performance, including difficulty focusing, limited involvement, and worse academic accomplishment.

To enhance children’s well-being and guarantee their academic success, addressing and properly assisting those who experience school anxiety is imperative.

Preparing for First Day of School

One significant milestone for both kids and parents is starting school. As a mother, you want your child to experience this new chapter with confidence, support, and excitement.

1.   Discuss with your child the idea of starting school.

Have an open discussion with your child about the idea of starting school before the big day. Ask how they feel. It’s not surprising that, generally, kids will have conflicting feelings about attending school.

However, imbibe some positive air in your discussion. Talk to your child about how attending school allows them to meet new friends, learn fascinating topics, and participate in many enjoyable activities.

2.   Familiarize your child with the school environment.

Your child will feel at ease and comfortable in the setting if they visit their school before the first day. Visit the campus’ classrooms, playground, and other important locations. 

Encourage your child to explore the school and ask questions.

To foster familiarity and connection, try to get to know the teachers or go to the school’s open house event, if there’s one.

3.   Establish routines and practice school-related activities.

Creating routines is an important part of preparing for school. A few weeks before the first day, establish a routine that includes wake-up hours, meals, and bedtimes. Practice at home, including arranging school supplies, tying shoelaces, and packing backpacks.

Your child will feel more capable and confident when they start school with familiarity.

4.   Build emotional resilience.

Your child needs emotional strength to get through the difficulties of starting school. Encourage them to be open about their emotions and worries. Create an atmosphere where the child can express himself without fear of repercussion. 

Also, teach your child about coping mechanisms like deep breathing, self-talk, and relaxing hobbies. Cultivate a positive outlook by praising their abilities. Encourage them to accept new experiences.

5.   Partner with the school.

A smooth transition can be worked out by collaborating with the faculty and employees of the institution. Connect with your child’s instructors and support personnel while you can. Attend the school’s orientation to become familiar with the rules, procedures, and expectations.

Developing a solid connection can guarantee that your child receives the help they need and feels appreciated.

Tips for Your Child’s First Day of School

For a child, the first day of school should be enjoyable and stress-free. Give your child a pleasant start by doing thorough planning and adding some useful advice to your routine.

1.  Plan a smooth morning routine

A well-planned morning routine sets the tone for the day. To prevent hurrying, start by waking up a bit earlier than normal. Prepare your child’s school clothes the night before to save time and avoid confusion in the morning. 

Prepare their breakfast to provide them with energy and improve their focus. Leave early so there will be ample time for traffic. And if your child arrives early, he may be able to socialize with his classmates.

2.   Pack comforting stuff in your child’s backpack.

A child’s bag should have some reassuring stuff because the first day of school might be stressful. Think of including a tiny family photo or a beloved toy animal they can carry. A personal message or a thoughtful gift will remind you daily of your support and affection.

Also, make sure your child has everything he needs, such as papers, pencils, coloring materials, and other school items.

4.  Arrange transportation and drop-off.

Learn the location, timetable, and safety procedures for how your kid will be traveling to school. If you will be taking them to school, plan the route and consider a test run a few days in advance to see how the traffic and scheduling are. 

To facilitate a smooth transition, talk with the school about drop-off protocols. You’ll feel more at ease and have fewer last-minute worries if you know what to expect in advance.

school anxiety

After the First Day of School

You need to be involved after your child’s first day of school. Reflect on the event, acknowledge their feelings, and offer continued support as you settle into this new milestone.

1.   Reflect on the experience and validate your child’s emotions.

Think back on your child’s first day in school. Discuss your experience with them over a meal. Find out what they liked, what surprised them, and how they felt during the day. 

Whether they expressed happy or difficult feelings, pay close attention and validate them. Your assurance will make your child feel more at ease and inclined to confide in you about their academic experiences.

2.   Encourage communication about the school day.

Promote an open dialogue regarding the school day. Encourage your child to share their ideas and experiences by asking precise questions. Ask questions such as:

“What was the most exciting thing you learned today?”

“Did anything make you feel proud at school?”

These questions encourage constructive conversation and reflect your interest in their academic experience. It also gives your kid a chance to talk about any issues or difficulties they might have had.

3.   Provide ongoing support and reassurance.

After the first day, keep giving your little one encouragement and confidence. Remind them that you are there to support them, listen, and recognize their accomplishments. 

Establish a schedule for discussing the school day so that your kid can share their experiences and you can offer support and encouragement.

4.   Foster a Positive Mindset

Encourage an optimistic outlook throughout your child’s academic career. Encourage them to take on new tasks, learn from their mistakes, and praise their simple successes. Keep them focused on the fun of learning and the friendships they are forming every day at school. 

You can give your child the confidence to embrace each day with excitement and resilience by encouraging a good attitude toward school. Ensure to imbibe optimism and a love for learning. Your words and actions significantly impact how they develop their thinking.

school anxiety

Get Engaged with Your Child’s Academic Life to Overcome School Anxiety

For a variety of reasons, your child may suffer from anxiety at school. Your kids may worry about exams, while others worry about making friends or leaving home. Making changes at school and offering support at home can lessen your child’s anxiety.

And if your child’s anxiety is a cause for worry that makes your child suffer, it’s necessary to seek professional help. School anxiety can have a long-lasting impact and get harder to cure with time.

Your child needs advice and counseling. Reach out to your pediatrician at Omega Pediatrics! And see how your provider will manage to help your child overcome school anxiety. Rest assured that your child receives the best care possible at Omega Pediatrics.

Scroll to Top