Six Ways to Settle Your Student’s First-Day Jitters
By Marissa Carpenter, Director of Marketing & Enrollment at CVC
Back to school!
It’s a phrase that either fans the flame of excitement or makes your stomach drop to your feet. At Central Valley Christian School in Visalia, we know that every kid is different and may require a different approach for those first-day-of-school jitters, from pre-K up to 12th grade. It can be nerve wracking, especially if you’re new to us! Read on for six different ways to help calm those nerves, and, of course, reach out if there’s anything we can do to help.
- Positivity is key!
Children will pick up on the emotions that you exude. When they see that you have positive things to say about your school experience, they’ll be less likely to walk onto campus with a negative attitude. Reframe school in a positive light, and point out things that they have to look forward to, whether it’s brand new pencils, p.e. class or being part of a club on campus.
- Tell me something good
Did you have a best friend in school you did everything with? Tell your child about your lasting friendships and the games you played during recess. Tell them one of the books you remember reading in school, and what your favorite thing about it was. Maybe you have a funny story about one of your science experiments that went terribly wrong! Tell them about a teacher that encouraged you to pursue your calling or changed the way you interact with others. When they see that school isn’t just homework and tests, kids are more likely to feel a positive association with school starting up again. Dust off your storytelling skills for a rapt audience on your commute to school.
- Be prepared!
Some kiddos just want to have all the answers laid out and feel completely prepared before they go to school. Help them pick out their first day of school outfit, pack their backpack with everything they need, and look at the school website [cvc.org] with them. They’ll be able to see their teacher, see photos of the playground, and maybe get a peek inside a classroom. If they’re big readers, hand over the summer newsletter, or any other correspondence sent from the school so they can feel a little more “in the know”. Help them memorize their locker combination, rehearse their class schedule, and practice saying their teachers’ name. Anything they can check off a list (actually make a list and check it off!) can help achievers feel like they’re one step ahead.
- Talk it out…
If your child is still struggling to process their jitters over going back to school, ask them if there’s something specifically bothering them, and allow them space to talk. Sometimes it will take a little prodding to get to the root of it, but like any human being, sometimes talking it through is helpful, and you’ll be able to help them sort through their worries now that they’ve spoken them aloud!
Philippians 4:6-7 reminds us: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
- Make it fun or funny!
Pump up the jams! Find a song (think “Eye of the Tiger” or “Happy” or “Chariots of Fire” or “joy.”) that will get your child excited about going to school and blast it on the way to school, or while they get ready in the morning. Bonus points for finding a super catchy song that everyone likes and knows. If a song isn’t enough, break out some jokes. School-themed ones are good to ease the tension. Try this one: Q: Why did the math book look sad? A: Because it had so many problems! Laughter is excellent medicine–getting your body moving is a close second.
- Emphasize your support.
At the end of the day, our kiddos need to know how much we love them and support them no matter what. Maybe they’re anxious due to academic issues or social issues. Maybe they just love summer and don’t want it to end. Not every child looks forward to school starting, but every child can be reminded that they’re loved and prayed for both by their parents and by their teachers. Philippians 4:6-7 reminds us: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Pray with and for your child and their teachers. God hears us and knows our struggles and worries. He has us in the palm of His hand.
Have a wonderful school year!
- Positivity is key!
CVC is proud to be a place where we care for your child: academically, physically and spiritually, in partnership with your family and your church. If this is something you’ve been missing out on, start your application for CVC today!
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