Dealing With Back to School Anxiety

HAGERSTOWN, MD - The first day of school can be an exciting experience, but for some kids, being away from mom and dad for the first time is a little overwhelming.

For Kimberly Boley and her son, it's the same routine every week.

She says goodbye to Hunter when she drops him off at preschool, gives him his Elmo blanket, and tells him she'll be back.

But some days there are tears.

"He's upset and you want to comfort him but you also have to separate yourself and say this is best for you and this is what you need to do," says Boley.
The anxiety of leaving your kids at school for the first time affects most people.

"The first day they'll look at you like, 'Don't leave me here and please take me with you,'" says dad Mike Martin.

Boley says there are a few things they do to make the transition a little bit easier.

"We tried to get him hyped up about his teachers, about his classmates, that he was going to get to play and learn new things so it was very exciting for both of us," she says.

Teachers say structure is the best way to get your kids feeling comfortable about going to school for the first time.

"Same things said to them every morning, same hug, the same kiss.  Children especially at the age of 2 or 3 like routine and if you get into routine, it'll make an easy transition for them," says teacher Elizabeth Stull.

But even with the routine, getting used to separation can take time. Teachers suggest giving kids something that reminds them of home, like a photo.

Having that memory in hand and reinforcing it with a hug helps clear up the tears.

Parents and teachers also say it's important to talk your kids about what they did during the day.

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