How to tackle back-to-school jitters

Experts tackle back-to-school nerves

SOUTH FLORIDA – The anticipation of the first day of school brings excitement and nerves. But much of a child's first day of school jitters can be managed with help from parents.

"Its normal for them to have back-to-school jitters so you want to normalize those feelings first and see what they're excited about," said child psychologist Dr. Sara Rivero-Conil.

Experts suggest bringing children to their new school ahead of time to familiarize them with their classrooms and meet their teachers.


INTERACTIVE: Back-to-school A to Z

In addition, when it comes to setting an earlier wake-up time and bed time, experts say the sooner the better, not the night before class. This can help ease anxieties.

"You're going from an unstructured environment, camp or home, to a structured environment where they're going to have responsibilities and activities."

Another way to keep your kids stay worry-free is to have them pick out their school supplies ahead of time. This gives them a sense of control over the little things.

Make them responsible for something - even at a young age.

Parents worry, too. For South Florida mom Cindy De Ulloa, that means worrying about the safety of her children when they are no longer under her supervision all day.

"Who's going to take care of my kids after school? Are they going to be watching my kids they way I would be watching them?" asked Cindy De Ulloa.

Doctors say it's important to stay calm, especially in front of your kids.

"As parents, we need to encourage the child that everything will be O.K.," Rivero-Conil says.

There are some uncommon signs of stress that require intervention. Those are a refusal to go to school, isolation, emotional outbursts, changes in sleep or appetitite. If any of these symptoms appear persist, talk to your pediatrician.