5 Simple Ways You Can Ease your Child’s Back-to-School Anxiety

It’s back-to-school season! After more than two years of mostly staying at home, your kids are excited to finally meet their teachers and classmates in the flesh. But as soon as you’re in school, your kid casually invites you to the classroom, starts an engaging conversation with you, and before you know it, holds you tighter as a subtle way of telling you to not leave. Uh-oh!

Whether this is your first, second, or third time sending your kid to school, he or she might still feel anxious about not having you around. It’s quite a task to unclench their fists on your skirt or to stop them from crying in front of the class, but don’t worry. You’re not alone!

We asked moms about their techniques on how to make their children relax, calm down, and enjoy school! We also asked teachers about the time-tested methods they observed parents do to successfully leave their children at school without all the crying. Hope you pick up a thing or two that you can add to your routine!

“I would surprise her with a gift, usually something she can use at school. When she asks me why I bought it, I’d enumerate all the small and big things she did in school. This lets her know that I pay attention to the answers she gives whenever I ask her how her day in school went.” -Mommy Elva


“I make sure that the bento I make is based on my daughter’s current favorite or interest so that when she opens her lunch box, she would recognize the design and get really giddy! I put all of her favorites: omelette, sausages, and buttered vegetables (broccolis and carrots are her must-haves in the bento). She loves “sake furikake” (salmon-flavored seasoning) mixed on the rice. Lastly, I add a fruit or a pack of nori (dried seaweed sheets). While preparing, I can already imagine how giddy she will get at lunch time. Although I would miss the chance to see her reaction when she opens her lunch box, I know she’d be smiling ear to ear when she sees Peppa Pig.” -Mommy Jocelle


“Some days are better than others. For me and my husband, we make sure to lead with encouragement and a promise of a reward after good behaviour. When class ends, we greet our kid with kind words of a job well done, no matter the intensity of his tantrums before class. It isn’t a smooth or quick process but it leads to a healthier parent-child relationship going forward.” -Mommy Vea


“I helped a student open her bag once. When I did, I saw her mommy’s notes in all her things – from her big stroller bag, to her notebook, diary, pencil case, and lunch box! They were written in colorful sticky pads. Each of the notes were simple yet heartfelt, such as “I love you,” “See you later,” and “Enjoy eating!” I noticed that the kid spends time reading her parent’s notes. These notes get her excited to go to school and look forward to going home as well! For me, this technique is effective to motivate her in school and to stop her from crying. – Teacher Lois


“As a preschool teacher for 10 years, I have seen so many creative efforts parents do to make their children feel comfortable in school. For example, parents and child do a personalized handshake and tell him/her, ‘I will see you later after your class!’ Some also allow their child to bring his/her favorite toy that serves as the child’s security blanket. Lastly, some kids would wear a locket that has a picture of his/her family so that whenever the child feels sad, he will just look at the necklace. I’ve seen these strategies very effective for kids. These prevent them from crying, and interestingly, it’s the moms who feel separation anxiety more!” -Teacher Marian


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