Addressing Kids’ Fear of Going Back to School

Maybe you’ve already talked to your kids about what this school year will look like. But there are still unknowns, and just like adults, these can make kids fearful. Here are some tips for easing their fears this school year.

  • Try not to show your own fears or worries. Kids pick up on verbal and non-verbal cues. If you’re scared or worried, they will be too! Instead, look for the positives and find ways to make the best of the situation, like creating a new tradition based on your new schedule.
  • Remind them they are not alone. Maybe your child struggled with online learning in the spring and is worried about their grades. Or maybe they are afraid kids will make fun of them for the way they look in their mask. Remind them that everyone is adapting to new ways of doing things and other kids have the same fears they do.
  • Encourage them to ask questions when they don’t understand. Kids are being asked to follow lots of new rules this school year. And it’s hard to see whether people are wearing a smile or a frown behind a mask. Encourage them to ask questions whenever they don’t understand something.
  • Encourage kindness. The changes in schedule and isolation brought on by the pandemic were hard for a lot of people. Encourage your child to do something nice for someone or make a new friend this year. You never know how much that act of kindness can encourage someone.
  • Be there. No matter what your child is feeling this school year, let them know you (and other trusted adults like their teacher) are there for them and want them to be successful.