West mom shares excitement and concerns for child’s first school day, counselor gives ‘first-day’ advice

Published: Aug. 3, 2022 at 8:22 AM CDT
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WACO, Texas (KWTX) - A mom in West is preparing her son for his first day in kindergarten, but she’s also preparing herself for the safety and health concerns that her parents did not have to worry about when she started school.

Sally Frazier’s son, Finnigan, has been practicing daily school tasks like opening his lunch box and maintaining good hygiene.

“We’ve practiced,” Frazier said. “We’ve done little trial runs. That’s his favorite thing to do, pretend we’re sitting at lunch and we’ve kind of talked about what to expect.”

While she is excited for her oldest child to take this next step in his life, she has some fears about the upcoming school year.

“I think we’ve got everything in order, but there’s so many questions that just as a new parent putting a kid in school,” she said. “It’s been so long since I was in school that things are so different.”

She also says she think she is worrying about different things than what her parents worried about when they dropped her off for the first day of school.

“I’m terrified with shootings and things like that that tend to happen and have happened recently,” Frazier said. “I was telling someone generations ago, not that many generations ago, the fears were things like, are they going to make friends, are they going to forget their lunch, or do they know which bus to take? Now, I’m worried about somebody going to shoot at him. Like an insane fear to have to have.”

Katy Donaldson, a counselor in Waco and owner of Premier Neurofeedback and Counseling, has some recommendations for parents who many be feeling like Frazier.

“I think that letting your child know that school is safe for them to go to,” Donaldson said. “There’s so many things nowadays that kids have to think of that we never had to think of when we were a little, and so allowing them to know that they’re going to be safe when they go to school.”

She said if you are feeling anxious about your child’s safety, try not to pass on that stress to your children.

“We don’t want to create chaos in a young mind,” Donaldson said. “Instead, just know that the school district is working through all of the nuances of that they’re going to do everything they can within their power to protect that child. And that you’re doing everything you can by bringing your child to school and allowing them to have a good education. And you tell them that you love them and then you let them go to school and know that they’re going to be safe while they’re there, for all you know.”

She also recommends answering questions about monkey pox or COVID when your children ask about it, but it’s important not to give your anxiety to your children.

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