Returning to school in September in any year can hold angst and worries for students and families alike. Experiences and circumstances over the last two years have amplified these feelings for some.

To support parents, caregivers and families with making this return to learning, the Waterloo Region District School Board (WRDSB) Psychological Services staff have put together a selection of resources.

Remember: Practice is key. The more you practice these skills with your child, the more effective they will be. Practice when your child is calm, not just when upset. It is hard for them to learn to do something when they’re already upset.

Suggestions for Supporting Your Child


Notice and name emotions. The first step in handling difficult emotions is always to know what you are feeling and put a name to it.


Learn ways to handle strong feelings. You can use breathing techniques, progressive muscle relaxation, attention control, self-statements, and more.

Find more resources for to help manage strong feelings on the WRDSB Psychology Department YouTube Channel.


It’s important to try things that are difficult. The more we do things that we find difficult, the easier they become. This is true for both things that cause anxiety and for skills that we find difficult.

Most people try to stay away from things that make them anxious. It makes them feel better in the short term, but makes anxiety bigger in the long run. The opposite is true, too. Confronting the thing that makes you anxious feels bad in the short term, but makes anxiety smaller in the long run.


Your children learn from you – you can show them how to handle anxiety. Make sure you let your children know when things are difficult for you and let them know how you handle the feelings. Also let them know how you talk to yourself in a way that makes the situation feel manageable instead of out of control.

Practical Tips

  • Start practicing routines a few weeks before school starts
  • Help kids picture themselves at school
    • For example, use imagery to picture themselves in class
  • Practice paying attention
    • Practice activities that require attention: chores, reading, puzzles
  • Adjust sleep schedules
    • For example, go to bed 15-30 minutes early every few days until the new bedtime is reached
  • Gradually decrease screen time

Well-being Resources

Crisis Support Resources


Phone: 1-800-668-6868
Text: 686868

Here 24/7

Phone: 1-844-HERE247 (1-844-437-3247)

Crisis Services Canada

Phone: 1-833-456-4566

Online Resources

WRDSB Resources