Ministry of Education, Guyana

Thursday, 19 September 2013 10:37

Getting Ready For Nursery School - Anxiety

The thought of going to a new school can be overwhelming for your child. Not only is it a new location, there will be lots of adults and children who are strangers. This plus being upset at being separated from you for a long time, can lead to a child who does not want to go to school because of the anxiety they experience around it. To help your child feel less anxious:-

  • Don’t scold or punish, but acknowledge your child’s fear and talk to them about it because their fears are very real to them. 
  • Visit the new school and (if possible) classroom a few times before school starts, all the while talking about how exciting the new adventure will be.
  • Do back-to-school shopping with your child getting the things they will need for ‘big’ school.
  • Act out different school situations with your child as a game.
  • Have play dates with a future classmate so that they are sure to have at least one friend in the class.
  • Do NOT show your child that you are nervous about the big change. Your child will pick up on it and become more anxious.
  • Praise your child for showing bravery each day he/she attends without crying a lot, then not crying altogether.


Like with most situations, when the newness of it disappears, so will the fears. Keep up the positive conversations around going to school so that it starts to be seen as something to look forward to. If you have a rough start, be patient with your child and continue to be encouraging and nurturing. If you find that after a few weeks there are still panic and avoidance behaviours, there may be bigger issues at work and you should seek help.

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