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Tips to calm first day of school nerves

13 ON YOUR SIDE's Meredith TerHaar spoke with holistic child psychologist Dr. Nicole Beurkens for some tips to help ease students' minds.

Many West Michigan students head back to school this week and it's very likely some of them will have first day jitters.

13 ON YOUR SIDE's Meredith TerHaar spoke with holistic child psychologist Dr. Nicole Beurkens for some tips to help ease their minds.

"It's totally normal for kids to be nervous about the first day of school," explained Dr. Beurkens.

Here are a few things that can be helpful:

1) Acknowledge how they are feeling and empathize with them. "I get it, you are feeling nervous and worried, I remember feeling that way." It helps them feel heard and reduce their anxiety.

2) Don't focus on over-reassuring. Our instinct is to say "It will all work out," but that can do more harm than good. Instead, focus on their capability to handle whatever might come up by saying things like, "You might be in class with other kids you don't know yet, you can handle it." Give them examples that they are capable of managing many issues and giving them examples of how they've done so in the past is much more effective.

3) Model your own calm and confidence. Parents, keep your emotions in check and it will certainly help your child as well.

For more insights like these, visit Dr. Beurkens website.

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