Is your little one nervous about going back to school? It is quite common! Starting school, whether it is your first year or you’ve done it before, can be scary. There are a lot of changes and new things to learn. Here are some tips to help alleviate worry and anxiety about going back to school.

Talk and listen

Have an open conversation about what is worrying them about going back to school. Ask what makes this a nerve wracking time so you can help them problem solve or prepare for specific situations. If they are not able to express what is scary – that’s ok! Assure them that being nervous is a normal emotion and reaction.


Walking through anxiety provoking situations can be extremely helpful. If they are nervous about something specific, role play what the situation might look like and how they can address it or ask for help. If you are able to, drive to the school and visit so they can become familiar with where they will be each day.

Involve them in decisions

Have them help pick out their going back to school supplies, backpack, lunchbox or whatever else they may need for school. Getting something in their favorite color or including their favorite superhero or TV character can help make this a fun and exciting time!

Start the routine

Help get them into the swing of going back to school by starting the routine early. Change is hard, so the more time kids have to adjust, the better! This could involve setting a bed time, wake up time, eating and getting dressed in the morning, or whatever your family decides to do to!


Help connect them to their school friends! Reach out to other families who will be attending the same school or will be in the same class so they can meet. It is much easier to do something new when you have a friendly, familiar face by your side.

Calming exercises

Try some calming exercises to help alleviate worry and anxiety. Calming exercises are great to practice when you are feeling calm so that when you are anxious you are already an expert in a technique to help! Some calming exercises include belly breathing, 54321 grounding, or doing a little stretch!

Read books

Check out our Back-to-School picture book section for stories about going to school that children can relate to. Need other book recommendations? Just ask a librarian; we are happy to help! 


   Youth Services Assistant Librarian Jessica