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Crying/Fussing During the Second Week of School?

The first week of the school year is typically filled with excitement and nerves. There is joy in seeing old friends, making new friends, and potentially experiencing a new classroom, teacher and routine. During this time, some tears may be involved, but the transition often feels easy because every experience feels so new. It is exciting to grow into new responsibilities and naturally we pride ourselves on accomplishing our first week feats. But did you know the first week of school is usually considered a Honeymoon Phase?

Yes, children sometimes experience a Honeymoon Phase during the second and third weeks of school. As the novelty of the introductory week wears off, children suddenly realize that teachers actually expect them to follow the rules so they can learn in class! What do you mean I can’t run around in the classroom and jump off my chair?

For parents, it is important to develop an awareness of the possibility of a regression post-honeymoon phase. Regression can manifest itself in young children as resistance in saying goodbye or morning tears. In older children, regression can be seen in their complaints of school. Whether the complaint is that school is too hard, too boring, or just feeling underwhelmed; be assured this is normal and typical of back-to-school transitions. The Honeymoon Phase may be fading but here is what you can do to help your child move past this phase:

  • Be proactive in maintaining consistent and predictable morning routines.

  • Validate feelings but proceed to move on quickly.

  • If your child is experiencing separation anxiety, check out our article on

  • Be patient as this occurrence is a developmentally appropriate phase.

Teachers and administration personnel are your partners in support. Communicate frequently if your child is having trouble moving past the Honeymoon Phase so that you may work together in developing a plan of action to ease children’s regression.

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