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Back to school: 5 ways to ease fears

By: Natasha Archary

Back to school
Image: Adobe Stock

With the festive period behind us, it’s time to prepare for back-to-school 2024.

Cue anxiety, tears, sad little faces and a meltdown or two. Back to school can be daunting for both parents and the kids, unless you have a little rockstar who can’t wait for the start of the new school year.

The early morning rush and frenzied school runs are about to consume you until the first term break. 

Whether your child is changing schools, or not, here are 5 ways to ease their fears.


Mentally prepare for the back-to-school transition a week before the term is to start. This will allow you to embrace the new schedules, night-time routines, hectic early mornings and pending meltdowns in traffic.

Have a checklist of items you need to get for each child, from snacks to stationery and schedules. Check off each item as you go and do a final check the night before.

Talk about it

Little ones have meltdowns over what may seem like the silliest things to you; like the wrong colour water bottle, changing the channel while their favourite TV show is on, or not cutting off the crust from their cheese sandwiches.

It is for this reason you should do your best to ease them into the new change of routine. It’s perfectly normal to have children who are terrified of school and you should do your best to ease their concerns.

Talk about going back to school with your child and allow them to express their fears without ridicule. It’s possible your child is feeling anxious about a change of teacher or worried that they will be placed in different classes with their friends.


Spend some time cleaning up cupboards and the home in general a few days before school starts. You want to avoid early morning screaming matches when vests don’t fit and they can’t find socks that match.

Organize all gear and uniforms and arrange them on easy-to-access shelves so your children can get them without help. Show your child where everything is and ask if they need help getting ready every morning.

Chances are older kids will do just fine but the younger ones may need you to supervise and help.


Don’t skip breakfast. Ever. No matter how hectic the mornings get and how late you are running. Your child needs to eat something substantial before heading out for a full day.

Have your breakfasts prepared the night before or in the freezer for reheating quickly before you head out the door. If you don’t mind eating in your car, pack travel-friendly meals for everyone to enjoy on the ride.

Here’s a list of effortless breakfast fixes for easier mornings.

Pack Entertainment

There’s nothing worse than a child screaming in the backseat while you try to concentrate on the road. You’re never prepared for it but it’s bound to happen. Ensure you pack their favourite game, book or electronic device to get you through traffic and everyone at their respective destinations safely.

The first day back is always the hardest to get through. It’s an emotional day, if you have a rough start on the first day, don’t use it as a gauge for how the rest of the year will go.

Each day is different, yes, but your approach should be solid and set in stone to set the tone for the year ahead.

Also read: Ditch the resolutions and prioritize your goals in 2024

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Written by: Natasha

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