How to deal with back-to-school blues

Cue tears, screaming, tight hugs and holding onto Mummy or Daddy’s leg. What might this be, you ask?


The first day of school is scary for many munchkins, whether it be the first day of nursery school or Grade 1.

Some children hang onto their parents for dear life, while others cannot wait to enter a new world of fun and games. 

This day is emotional for both children and parents. How can you and your little one ride out this emotional rollercoaster?

Tell your child how well they did by being at school all day and remind them of how mature they are

Here are a some tips:


  1. Let’s talk about it

In most households, preparing for the first day of school is all about getting things ready and making sure the child has everything they need. Parents, take a moment to ask your little one how they are feeling about starting school and share your first day memories to ease the jitters.


  1. Do not sneak away

"Mums should never be ripped away abruptly from their child," says psychologist and author of The Self-Aware Parent (St Martin’s Griffin), Fran Walfish. No child that wants to turn around and realise that their parent is gone, feeling alone and scared.


  1. Manage your own anxiety

It is normal for a parent to feel uneasy when their little one is nervous, but this does not mean parents should voice their nervousness or concerns to their child. Be positive and talk to your child about the amazing things that will happen in school.


  1. Make new friends

The first day of school is not just a new start for your child, but also a new beginning for you. You are not the only parent there, so make an effort to meet other parents. Get to know your child’s teachers and find out what it is you can do to help your child’s development.


  1. Get up early and turn off the TV

It is time to stop the late-night TV and head straight to bed for a good night’s rest. The last thing you need is your child being exhausted at school and unable to concentrate.


  1. Praise successes

The final school bell just rang and here comes your little one. Jump out of the car, give them a big hug and tell them how proud of them you are. Tell your child how well they did by being at school all day and remind them of how mature they are.


  1. Be realistic

"It can take up to 10 weeks for a child to fully be ready to be left at school without her mother," Walfish says. So be understanding if two weeks in, your child is still not chuffed about going to school – it’s normal.