Transitioning from the fun and freedom of summer back into the structured days of school may be more challenging for your daughter than she let’s on.
Many children feel nervous or apprehensive about going back to school… and that is totally normal! But there are ways to help your daughter ease those “first day jitters.”
Here are 5 easy ways to help your daughter feel more confident and excited about starting the new year:
1: “I Am” Statements
When we think and say positive things about ourselves we feel more confident, capable, and ready to take on challenges. Help your daughter write down, act out or speak powerful “I am” statements about how she wants to feel when she goes back to school. Say these statements (or ones you create) 3-5 times each and have your daughter repeat after you. Make sure you say it like you mean it!
– I am confident.
– I am happy at school.
– I am excited.
– I am smart.
– I am friendly.
– I am loved by my teacher and friends.
2: Talk About It
Talk to your daughter about going back to school. Think aloud together about what each part of her first day will be like… her teacher, classroom, recess, friends, etc. If your daughter has a favorite part of school be sure to talk about that too. Only about 20% of children are auditory learners. If you think your daughter learns best in another way, help her make a list, draw, or act it out instead of just talking.
3: Get Moving and Use Your Breath
Moving our bodies and connecting with our breath has a positive impact on our mind and our ability to face fears. Adding a 3-5 minute yoga and breath practice to your morning routine will have a profound impact on the whole family. Start this new habit a week or so before school starts. That way it will be a part of your daily routine by the first day of school. Need ideas for your morning flow? Try Yoga Pretzels (Yoga Cards).
4: Connect With a Friend
As you no doubt already know, friends and social life are a huge part of your daughter’s school experience. Set up a play date or casual phone call with a friend your daughter hasn’t seen since last school year. If you can connect her with a friend who will be in her class this year, that’s even better. Even a brief conversation can reconnect girls in a powerful way and remind them that they are liked and have a support system at school. Ultimately, helping her feel more confident and excited about the new year.
5: Remember, Your Teacher is Your Resource
Teachers love getting to know their students at the beginning of the year. Have your daughter write her teacher an email or letter introducing herself, what she likes most about school, and how she feels about starting the new year. If your daughter is really anxious about going back to school, try and give her teacher a head’s up before school starts. The first day of school is generally pretty hectic and overwhelming for everyone, so that’s probably not the best time to try and pull your daughter’s teacher aside. Send a brief email or pass them a short handwritten note instead.
Remember, feeling nervous about going back to school or having butterflies on the first day is totally normal. Tell your daughter how wonderful she is and that it’s okay to have those “first day jitters”.
Enjoy the rest of summer break and trust that your daughter is going to have a great school year!