Back To School: Our Fears Are Our Fears

It is that time again, ‘back to school’. Like many parents, we try our best to organize and plan for the upcoming school year.

We spend a large sum of money buying back to school supplies and clothes.  With the stress of organizing schedules, sleeps and lunches come other stresses. Not only do we worry about the things we can see, but also the things we cannot. Often these worries and fears are a reflection of our story, not our children’s.


If newly separated, the anxieties and fears can be many. Your worries and fears will likely be such: Will they accept him because he has only one parent at home? What will he say when they ask about this mom or dad? How will he feel? Will he adjust? Will he be bullied? If you are the parents with a child entering school for the first time, your possible worries will include: Will he make friends? Will the teacher be nice? Will he hate it? Love it? Will he be bullied? The worries go on.

If you are the parent who has a child entering high school the worries include: Will she be bullied? Will she pass her subjects? And will she have friends and more? If your adult child is entering postgraduate studies – you worry.

When we begin to worry we sometimes expose our children to our own stuff and validate it with statements like ‘When I was their age’, ‘I had this’ or ‘I didn’t have this’, and ‘When I was in school.’ In our validation attempt, we then believe our children must feel the same. Although our children may worry and have anxieties, our fears are our fears.

Managing your own fears anxieties and worries:

  • Ask yourself this question when there are fears: Is this mine or my child’s? If it’s yours resolve it.
  • If there are new changes in your family life such as separation, death, etc. seek support.
  • Rely on the skills that has helped in previous school years and what worked well. Use those skills.

Helping our children to manage their worries during the school year and beyond

  • Listen to your child, but don’t be quick to give advice
  • Validate and reassure
  • Let your child go through their feelings without being quick to fix it or band aid it
  • Communicate with your child’s school and teachers
  • Get them involved in activities in school or in the community
  • If your child struggles with anxieties seek support and services

In the end, the school year will come and go and our children will make it through. Pause and check; is this my own fear or my child’s. Whatever the answer be clear on the solution.