First day of school jitters

Well — here it is — the first day of school! Time to put away the sunscreen, bathing suit, and bug repellent; it’s time to break in the new sneakers and backpacks and learn new locker combinations. Even though the calendar still says summer, it definitely feels like fall! This is a season of transitions — kids starting kindergarten, adapting to middle school, facing the huge high school. As parents, what can you do to allay any anxieties and fears? First, remain calm and composed. Our kids depend on us to model even demeanor and positivity. Normalize the experience — every child is going through the same changes as your child. For the little ones, keep the goodbyes and hugs brief; your child will be just fine with a short exit. It’s much harder on you to separate than it is for your son or daughter. If you need a good cry, by all means break out the kleenex — just don’t break down in front of your child. Lastly, listen to your child when he or she comes home from school. Ask a lot of open-ended questions: “Tell me about one of the highlights of your day.” “Who do you know in your class?” “What did you have for lunch?” Avoid “yes” or “no” questions. First day of school jitters? The jitters are your own. Be mindful of not transferring them to your child. Mostly, enjoy these precious moments of your child’s development. I’m sure you’ve heard from relatives and friends with older children, it goes by very, very quickly.