Do you or your child have back to school fears? We know the feeling all too well, which is why we’re sharing how to overcome those fears. As a former teacher in an inner city school district I would see all types of fears walk through the doors of our building. Whether it was the parents or their children there was a simple way to ease everyone’s fears.
How to Overcome Back to School Fears
There are a whole new set of back to school fears than there used to be. We now deal with IEPs, RTI, Common Core, bullying and lock down drills. Kindergartners are now reading by the middle of the year and fifth graders are exposed to more mature concepts than most high schoolers used to be. With the inundation of cell phones in schools there are more distractions than ever before.
As a parent I worry about the academic and the social aspect of school. I want nothing more than for my daughter to grow as a human being. I want her to make strong friendships, while making good choices in the process. There are times I’d like to keep her naive, but I’m afraid that when the time comes to make a good decision she won’t know what to do if she’s not exposed. A perfect example is that I had to sit my kindergartner down last year and talk to her about guns. I grew up without guns in my life. My dad was not a hunter and living in the Northeast all of my childhood I was never exposed. I wasn’t sheltered per say, but I was never in the presence of guns in thirty-five years. Now that we live in the south, guns are just more prevalent. People go to the shooting range and have guns for hunting and protection. It’s a different type of culture and I would be remised to not acknowledge it with my oldest daughter.
There are so many aspects of heading back to school that are similar to this that make me, as well as other parents anxious. I can remember practicing fire drills and I think once we practiced for a tornado where we went in the downstairs hallway and crouched with our hands over our head. Now, a lockdown drill is part of the practice each year. Kids now practice hiding in their classrooms. How do you explain the need to do this with a child? I’ve heard that some teachers explain that they are practicing what to do if a bear gets inside the school. Part of me appreciates this, but on the other hand what if the need to hide occurs in a public place when they are on a field trip? Shouldn’t they know that they are hiding from someone that could hurt them? Our world is a scary place to live. The choice to expose your child with the hopes that they will react in an educated manner if the circumstance occurs or the other choice is to hope and pray that this never occurs in your town.
In order to overcome the back to school fears, no matter how big or small, you need to have open communication about them. We can no longer live in a world where we state, “that won’t happen in my town.” I worked nine years in an inner city school and would walk in the neighborhood to grab lunch. It was not the worst part of town, but it also wasn’t middle class America. I was smart though. I walked with my head up and eyes open. I didn’t stare at my phone unaware of my surroundings. We need to teach this to our children. Teach our children to be aware of their surroundings. I will not have my girls fearful. Look a person in the eyes and treat everyone with respect. Isn’t that all that we want? Respect? Acknowledge the people that you pass with a smile. Teach our children to be respectful and they will be more knowledgeable, well adjusted adults paying attention to the world around them.