Leading Anxious People Through Change

When my daughter was getting ready to enter second grade, she was really anxious. Every time we asked her how she felt about it, she said she was scared and nervous and she didn't want to go to second grade - ever.

We talked about her feelings and tried to figure out why she felt so anxious. She couldn't really explain it. Then one day, after I asked her to tell me what she thought would be the worst thing about second grade, I realized that she had no idea what second grade would be like. Between kindergarten and first grade, we had moved across the country and settled in a whole new community and (obviously) a whole new school. Everything had started over for her. She didn't realize that going to second grade wouldn't involve so much transition. In fact, it would look a whole lot like first grade.

So we helped her understand what second grade would be like. And we helped her develop a mental picture of herself as a perfectly capable second grader. By the time the school bus showed up ...

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