Wednesday, August 13, 2014

The school "I don't want to's"

Back to school anxiety. This affects not only preschoolers and kindergartners, but apparently all the way through adulthood--the school dream and so on.

Anxiety is normal when there is a change, says Dr. Carly Orenstein, Morris Psychological Group, Parsipanny, NJ.

Children worry about things they haven't mastered yet. Will my teachers be nice? Will others know more than I do?

Children demonstrate anxiety different ways. They may have trouble sleeping, bite their nails, pull their hair, stomachaches, headaches.

Dr. O recommends visiting the school, seeing the new classroom, meeting the teacher. Find the restrooms, cafeteria, lockers.

If the kids have not gotten together over the summer, arrange some play dates.

Start enforcing bed times.. Shop for clothes.

Lay out clothes in the AM.

Do not get school supplies without a list from the school.

Try to make the first week special--maybe with one parent home more.

If the child continues to be jittery--maybe talk to the teacher.

Most children do fine. Keep your eyes and ears open.

I remember my brother, then about 8, asking my mother, "How will I know how to get to work like Dad does?" She said, "That's a long time from now, you will learn." And she gave him a hug.

He "grew up" to be a park ranger and then emergency dispatcher--and gets to work fine.

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