NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) – Many families and kids are a little anxious as they get ready for the first day of class. Issues like gun violence and isolation of the pandemic has compounded uneasiness.

Experts recommend to focus on what you can control. “What are you capable of controlling?” said Michele Tryon, CHKD Community Outreach Coordinator. “You are capable of controlling what happens in your home. How you prepared your children for the upcoming school year gives them a sense of safety and security.”

Tryon says parents and caregivers play an important role in supporting kids’ emotional wellbeing during the transition back. “Stay positive, plan and prepare as much as possible, and process,” said Tryon. “Talk with them about if things don’t go as planned or talk with them if they are feeling anxious. Help them process what they are going through and give them reassurance.” 

Students aren’t the only ones on edge. Tryon says adults must be aware of their own fears and create a safe environment for children. “They feel more secure if there is routine and there is an expectation of what is expected of them,” said Tryon. “Whatever we can do to put routines into place can help them feel secure.”

Tyron also wants to remind parents nervous excitement and anxiety can feel the same in the body. However nervous excitement is normal at the start of the school year. If you determine it could be more, Tryon says check in with your child’s pediatrician.