5 Ways to Build Your Kid’s Confidence for Back-to-School

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back to school
Source: Old Navy

Back-to-school can bring up lots of feelings for children, especially if this is their first time attending school. There’s the butterflies-in-your-stomach feeling in anticipation of a new school year with a new classroom and potentially some new friends. Then, there’s the palms-sweating feeling when kids are nervous about the unknown as they wonder, for example, who their new teacher will be. And, of course, parents also deal with similar emotions as they comfort and hype up their children for a new school year. Back-to-school gives all of us all the feels.

It’s normal for kids to feel some nerves for back-to-school, but we also want to inspire positive feelings to begin the new year with a bright start. After all, back-to-school is a memorable time of year when the air is slightly crispier and you can get a new outfit and a refresh on school supplies to formally embody that “welcome back” vibe. We would like to share some fun ideas to make this back-to-school season the best one for your littles. Read on for five ways to send your kids back to school feeling excited and confident.


1. Let Them Choose Their Own Back-to-School Clothes

There is no better way for your kids to feel pumped about going back to school than getting new clothes that they love. What we wear can certainly affect how we feel on the inside. One way to honor our children’s individuality is by shopping at a brand that offers lots of variety in their apparel so your little shoppers can celebrate their uniqueness. Our editors and readers’ favorite place to shop for back-to-school is Old Navy because of all the vibrant, classic, and eclectic options they have for any child. 


Our editors and readers’ favorite place to shop for back-to-school is Old Navy because of all the vibrant, classic, and eclectic options they have for any child.


Whether your child likes bright colors, wears a uniform, or prefers clothes that allow them to be active, Old Navy has something for every style and taste without the expensive price tag. Plus, what we love about Old Navy is that their clothes are durable without compromising how fashionable they are. Your kiddos can freely participate in that art project in class and play a game of basketball during recess with any mix-and-match options from Old Navy.

With Old Navy, your children will feel joy going back to school because they will embrace who they are with the outfit of their choice (with some suggestions from you, too!). Below are some of the current pieces we are putting in our shopping cart from this season’s collection.

old navy
Old Navy

Slouchy Straight Dark-Wash Jean Overalls for Girls

Simply pair overalls with a patterned button-down or a long-sleeved tee for a cute and oh-so-easy fall outfit that any kid would love to wear.

old navy
Old Navy

Short-Sleeve Floral-Print Swing Dress for Girls

An adorable (and easy to style) outfit for school picture day, this swing dress is both cute and comfortable for class.

3 cute patterns available

old. navy
Old Navy

Graphic Crew-Neck Sweatshirt for Girls

This comfy sweatshirt gets an A+ in our book for its awesome message.

4 styles available

old navy
Old Navy

High-Waisted PowerChill Crossover Flared Leggings for Girls

Flared leggings are back—and better than ever! This pair is sure to become a staple in any girl's closet this school year.

5 colors available

old navy
Old Navy

Plaid Flannel Utility Pocket Shirt for Boys

A cozy layer for crisp fall days, this shirt is sure to be a favorite all season long.

6 styles available

old navy
Old Navy

Slim Stretch Jeans for Boys

These slim-fit jeans are both soft and stretchy, and they have an interior adjustable waistband for a custom fit. Plus, they're made with tough fabric that prevents blown-out knees or accidental rips.

old navy
Old Navy

Gender-Neutral Canvas High-Top Sneakers for Kids

These versatile sneakers are made with durable canvas that can be easily spot cleaned and include cushioned insoles made with memory foam.

also available in black

old navy
Old Navy

Patterned Canvas Backpack for Kids

This durable (and stylish!) backpack features a two-way zip-top closure, padded shoulder straps with adjustable buckles, and a mesh side pouch to hold a water bottle.

2 colors available

Overwhelmed By Back-to-School Shopping? Here’s Your List to Get it Done

2. Set up a playdate with future classmates

Having a friend at school can not only ease any fears in your children, but a friend can help build their self-esteem. The power of a friendship can never be underestimated. Consider setting up a play date or two with future classmates so your child can start developing relationships even before school formally begins. You can go to a local park, stop for ice cream, or even meet at the school playground. What matters is that your little one can make a connection so that they feel a sense of familiarity on their first day. Chances are, they are not the only ones who are feeling both nervous and excited!    


3. Read books about going back to school

Incorporate reading books about back-to-school in your quality time with your child. There are so many great stories out there that normalize all the feelings associated with back-to-school. Reading these books together can spark conversations about their hopes and fears. These books can also demystify what a new school or classroom will feel like with sweet narratives and charming illustrations. Soon enough, they will realize how fun back-to-school truly is! Below are some of our favorite back-to-school reads.

back to school getting excited and feeling confident
Natasha Wing

The Night Before Kindergarten

This uplifting series captures all the emotions associated with the night before a big event, like back-to-school, and how much fun it can be to prepare for this special day.

Leatie Weiss

My Teacher Sleeps in School

School is anything but ordinary in this charming tale of a class determined to prove their teacher, Mrs. Marsh, sleeps in school. This investigation sends the kids on an adventure of discovery to find the truth!

our class is a family
Shannon Olsen

Our Class is a Family

A classroom is more than just that—it’s a family. With heartfelt prose and whimsical illustrations, this story will illustrate that school is a place where children can be safe, loved, and accepted for who they are.

back to school getting excited and feeling confident
Erika R. Garcia

Are You My Teacher? A First Day of School Book

Join Carlos as he ventures to his first day at school and meets lots of kindhearted school helpers along the way. This sweet book highlights that school is a warm community of helpers ready to welcome students to learn.

4. Practice the school routine

Establishing a school routine can diminish any anxiety your LO may be feeling because the “unknown” becomes familiar. Bring out their back-to-school outfit, prepare their lunch and backpack with them, and drive to school so they can experience first-hand what a wonderful day awaits them. If possible, go into the school to explore with your child and point out their classroom. The more you share with them what their first day will look like, the greater their excitement and confidence will be.


5. Talk about their hopes and fears

Sometimes what our children need is a safe space to divulge all they’re feeling inside. They may not have all the right words, but spending time with them to share all about back-to-school can open up lines of communication between you and your child. Perhaps consider having them write down words that express what emotions are present for them. For the very little ones (and big kids too!), encourage them to draw or paint what back-to-school means for them. This can also be a great keepsake to share with them as they grow!

5 Things to Get Your Kids Excited for Back-to-School

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This post was in partnership with Old Navy but all of the opinions within are those of The Everymom editorial board. We only recommend products we genuinely love.