Help Your Children Deal With Back to School Anxiety and Stress

by John Riddle

Summer will soon be a distant memory as children prepare for the new school year.  Whether your child is returning to school or attending for the first time, there will be some level of anxiety and stress.  Families need to understand that some children may be apprehensive when it comes to starting a new routine, and they may need additional time and attention to become comfortable with their new schedule.

“Whenever a new school year begins and a new routine is created, it is understandable that children may react in different ways,” says Grant R. Hasty, Senior Counselor and owner of Renewed Life Christian Counseling Center.  “Some children may act up and become defiant, while others may withdraw and become overly quiet.”

Hasty recommends that parents develop a plan ahead of time that will help everyone better acclimate to that first day of school and beyond.  “Your child will be going through new experiences and it may take awhile before everything falls into place and becomes more of a regular routine.  Parents need to set the pace in the routine so live it with them.  Determine if you as parents need to make some changes as well in the day-to-day routines that would make going back to school less stressful.”

He strongly believes that parents should spend some time talking about the whole “back to school” experience in advance.  “Any time you spend with your child helping them to understand what they can expect when school starts is time well spent.  Make it fun and engaging, and add a treat to those talks; that always goes over well.”

Hasty offers some additional tips to help ease anxiety and stress in the household as the new school year begins:

  • Get plenty of sleep
  • Provide nutritious meals (stay away from too much sugar, fast foods and sodas)
  • Lay out the clothes, book bag, school supplies, etc., the night before and make this non-negotiable; you will not believe the stress laying things out the night before takes out of the “getting-to-school-morning-routine!”
  • Don’t sign up for too many extra activities (especially during the first few weeks)
  • Encourage your child to spend a little time sharing what happened at school; the best time to accomplish this is at dinner together
  • Be available to listen to any problems that may arise, and help to find creative solutions together; this is a great way to teach problem solving skills, too
  • Keep a positive attitude, and make the transition to the school season a happy and productive one
  • Don’t forget to pray together as a family, asking God to help your children do their best during the upcoming school year, and help them be a friend to their fellow students

“If everyone will do their part to make the end of summer and back to school transition as smooth as possible, everyone will feel better,” says Hasty.  “Realize that every day will not be perfect, but you can have the confidence that your child will be well prepared.”

Renewed Life Christian Counseling Center exists as a ministry to provide professional, faith-based, Christian counseling to all of Delaware and surrounding states in order to address mental, emotional, and spiritual health needs.  They are trained to provide counseling services to children and their families in need of help around all school needs. They believe that solid professional mental health practices, integrated with clear Biblical Christian principles, will help people be restored to healthy relationships with God, self and others. It is their mission to help people live out the meaningful abundant life that God has designed for them to live weather at home, school or in place of employment.  For additional information, please visit or call 302-464-0515