Back-to-School: Fear


After a pandemic year of at-home school, the start of school this year is going to be an especially big deal for almost all families whether they have a kindergartner, first grader, middle schooler, or high schooler. Therefore, posts for all of August and September will be about back-to-school issues.

Who has fears about the first days of school?

  • Kindergartners and first graders
  • Kids going to a new school because of a neighborhood move or because they have moved up a level – elementary to middle, middle to high school
  • All kids are at least nervous about the first day of school no matter what school, what grade, or what age.

What do the fears of teenagers look like?

A freshman in high school can feel a lot like a first grader. The freshman will not hold onto mom’s skirt or refuse to enter the building – that would be embarrassing. Freshman nerves will look more grown up. Students might lollygag and be late getting started the first day or be obsessed with what they will wear or how they will get to school. They might be just generally hard to get along with in the days leading up to and following the start of school.

Be alert to delayed reactions

For students at any age, fears about starting school may not take over and be easy to see until a few days, weeks, or months down the road.  Some kids suck it up at first, let their excitement take over, and appear to have no problem starting school.  Then, the fun wears off and the worries and pressures take over. Suddenly the resistance to going to school shows up.  For older kids, like new college students, this delayed reaction can hit as late as the second semester of the freshman year or even as late as the beginning of the sophomore year.

What do you think?

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