How to help your child through the first day of school.

Whether it’s the first day at kindergarten, junior high, or high school — or if it’s a new school — children get excited but they also get nervous. These are milestones in your child’s life, and how your child adapts may determine how he or she adjusts to other “firsts” later in life.

“Kids who are fearful early on may be the ones who have a harder transition in other aspects of life,” says Nadine Kaslow, PhD, professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Emory University and chief psychologist at Grady Health System, both in Atlanta. Inherently, “some children are just more flexible, more adaptable and these firsts don’t seem to be that big a deal for them. For other kids, any transition is very disruptive. It takes them longer to make the transition.”

Every little positive experience helps children adapt to all the “firsts” of their lives, Kaslow tells WebMD. “The more you prepare a kid the better, especially if your child is sensitive.”

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