WEST CALDWELL, NJ — As the summer comes to an end, it’s time to prepare for a brand new school year. During this time, The Orchard School is reminding parents that it’s not all about trendy supplies, but about mentally preparing their children for a new environment.

Starting or returning back to school could potentially come with a great deal of anxiety, both for parent and student. According to Psychology Today, "separation anxiety is a normal stage in an infant or young child’s development, and if not monitored, has the potential to affect your child’s school experience."

“We have many ways to prepare child (and parent, if necessary) to view this as an exciting and joyful time,” said Erin Moss, director of The Orchard School in West Caldwell. 

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The Orchard School suggests creating "short and sweet" goodbye rituals following a regular morning routine and creating a safe space at home where the parent explains the purpose of school to the child. When it comes to making a child feel comfortable, The Orchard School says "communication is key."

According to Moss, parents should not show any fear or hesitation around their child during drop off. During early-child development, mimicking of emotions from sources of authority are highly common, and it is important for parents to remain consistent in their positive attitude toward school, she added.

The Orchard School understands the difficult process of parents separating from their children. The school's method of easing this is to incorporate periodical communication with parents throughout the day by providing parents with photos of their children participating in physical and social activities.

"We reinforce fun: fun in learning, fun in using your imagination, fun playing indoors or exploring the outside," said Moss. "Life is full of great and exciting opportunities for everyone." 

Visit http://www.orchard-center.com, contact Moss at erinmoss@orchard-center.com, or contact The Orchard School at (973) 575-8787 with any questions about separation anxiety, or the start of the school year.

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