‘Be Prepared’ for Beginning of the School Year Jitters

Be Prepared.  How many times have you heard that?  Maybe you first heard that phrase as a girl scout or boy scout, or perhaps, from your mother or father when a child, who heard it from their scout leader.  I would guess that phrase goes back even further in time.   ‘Be prepared’ is very appropriate with the new school year here.  Children are often uneasy, even anxious, about starting a new grade with a new teacher.  Questions swirl in their heads:  Will my friends be in my class?  Will my new teacher like me?  Will I like my new teacher?  How strict will he/she be?  Will I be able to do the math?  How much homework will I have?   There may be any other number of other concerns about the new year as well.  So how can your children be prepared for the new school year?

When children have worries such as these, there is often a physical sensation connected to it.  You might ask, “Where in your body do you feel this uneasiness?  Touch the place where you feel it.”  Often the sensation is in the belly, the chest, or the head.  It could manifest as a stomach ache, the heart pounding, or a head ache.  See if your child can locate where the feeling lives, then see if he/she can describe that feeling.  Sometimes, finding the right words is difficult so you might suggest your child move the way it feels or draw the way it feels inside his/her body using colors that depict the feeling.  This gives you a better understanding of just what is going on at a physical level.

Next, offer a strategy for diminishing the sensation, relaxing the body, mind, and emotions.  One possibility would be to have your child place his/her hands over the place where the the uneasiness is felt, right hand first then left, and breathe into that space (See photo above.).  Have your son or daughter imagine his/her breath going there and softening the uneasiness, melting it away.  Little ones can do this while humming.  The humming distracts the mind, evens the breath, and the vibration of the humming soothes the uneasiness just the way humming or singing to a crying baby helps to quiet it.

Another technique is to finger walk a spiral.  Your child can take his/her pointer finger and watch it glide over his pant leg, the table top, or the carpet in a spiral pattern, taking his/her worries to the center and then unwind out from the center in a more relaxed state-of-being.  (You may have to show him/her what this pattern is by drawing one and having your child trace it to get it into his/her body memory.) The spiral can be big or small, which will depend upon where it is being drawn.  Either way, it will work its’s magic.  Watch the short video below and try it yourself.

Did you feel the quieting effects of the spiral, the letting go, as you spiraled in to the center?  Do you feel more at ease upon completing it?  This is a great tool for everyone, not just your children.  I’ll have more to say about spirals at another time. . . .

Be prepared to help your children, and yourself, quiet the beginning of the school year jitters and know that these strategies can be used at other times as well.  Please accept the gift of a spiral from my book Creating the Peaceable Classroom drawn by illustrator Jan Merccuri Grossman.  Option Click (Mac) or Right Click (PC) the image below to save a full page PDF to your computer.  Enjoy spiraling into stillness!  (My book with other quieting techniques can be found at www.hobblebush.com.)












Wishing you peaceful days,



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