COLUMBIA, S.C. — It's true, many people experience anxiety or lack of self confidence in social situations. Research conducted by American Psychological Association shows that nearly half of all teens and adults identify themselves as shy. Children of all ages can become nervous about new situations, including changing to a new school, classroom or teacher

As you're getting your children ready for the first day of school and packing up their lunches, here are a few tips recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics that can also help you pack some self-confidence as well!

First, remember to point out the positives. Take some time to remind them of how much fun they had in the previous year and point out the positives of the new year like, catching up with old friends and the excitement of making new ones.

Verbally affirm to your children that they have all it takes to have an incredible year and remind them of all their positive attributes; that they are smart, strong, caring, respectful, well-behaved and a great student and friend.

This reminds them of how they successfully navigated through the difficulties they experienced in the past and re-establishes and reaffirms that they can trust and depend upon themselves.

Second, be proactive. Parents do not need not wait until the first day of class to ask for help.

Schools are open to address any concerns a parent or child might have about the upcoming year.

Take an opportunity to tour the school or take your child to school a few days prior to class to play on the playground and get comfortable in the new environment to ease any anxiety of the unknown. Maybe even consider finding another child in the neighborhood who your child can walk with to the bus stop or school.

Third, shop for school supplies as a team. One of the most fun things for kids to do is to shop for their school supplies and clothes. Let them have a hand in picking out what they need so they can establish a sense of their personal expression and uniqueness.

At the end of the day and school year, doctors say, it is healthy and acceptable for parents to have high expectations for your children.  It’ is also your responsibility as a parent to allow children to learn from their own mistakes. When things are not perfect, use that as an opportunity to talk about their problem, life and your love for them.

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