Back to school: Tips to lower anxiety for students and parents

As many school districts welcome back their kids to school, licensed professional counselor Laura Ramirez says the first day of school can bring a lot of anxiety, not just to kids, but also to adults.

Ramirez says it’s normal for students to express anxiety in the first couple of weeks as they get back to their school routines.

"Establishing those routines, maybe leave about 15, 20 minutes earlier than your normally scheduled time, and try that out," Ramirez said. "That way, you know, if you think about it, if you fail to plan, you plan to fail."

Ramirez says plan on how your kid will get to school, including who’s going to pick them up, and communicate that with your child and their school. 

"One thing that I will tell parents is when you're communicating with school personnel, keep in mind that they're under a lot of stress, too," Ramirez said. "So, you know, just be mindful of what you're saying to them and how you're saying it."


You can expect to see heavy traffic the first week of school as transportation and parents are getting back into their routine. Ramirez says to be patient. 

"Everyone is trying to get there early, on time, there's a longer drop-off line," Ramirez said. "And that does raise anxiety for both the parent and the children."

After the mass shooting in Uvalde in May 2022, safety has been on the mind of many parents when going back to school. 

Starting on Sept. 1, House Bill 3 will be in effect. 

The bill would put an armed security guard, armed police officer, or armed employee on every public school campus in Texas. 

"So, take those negative thoughts, those negative cognitions, and turn them around to positive. You know, the chances of a school shooting taking place, even though it's happening more now," said Ramirez. "The possibilities are very low."

And if at any point this first couple of days you or your child feels stressed, take a pause and just breathe. 

Practice the 4-4-6 method: Inhale for four counts, hold for four counts and exhale deeply for six counts. 

"What this does is it does a couple of things. First, as you're counting to yourself with the four, four, six, you're distracting yourself from any anxiety that you may be experiencing at the time," said Ramirez.