PhotoAt this very moment, most kids in the U.S. are probably enjoying their summer vacation and thinking very little about the upcoming school year.

In fact, it may be safe to say that a lot of kids haven't thought about their school, textbooks or teachers since the last bell rang.

For the younger kids, it'll be their first time attending school, which can easily make them nervous.

Causes for concern

According to a 2011 survey conducted by Angus Reid, a Canadian public opinion polling firm, 42% of parents say their kids show signs of increased anxiety right before the new school year starts.

In addition, 54% said their child's anxiety comes from having a new teacher, 48% said their child is nervous about having a new class schedule and 40% said their child worries about getting too much homework.

It's not unusual

PhotoDr. Stephen Whiteside, a child psychologist at the Mayo Clinic, says parents should tell their children it's okay to feel nervous about the first day of school.

"Most people get nervous when they face change, so it's normal for many kids to feel anxious about going back to school," he said. "One of the most helpful things you can do is reassure your children what they're feeling is normal."

Dr. Brad Schwall, a family counselor in Texas agrees, and says trying to convince a child that he shouldn't be nervous is the wrong thing to do.

"We have to understand that it's natural for our kids to be nervous, so denying and telling them they shouldn't be nervous doesn't help," said Schwall in an interview with a local news outlet.

In addition, he says it's important to prepare your child for the first day of school ahead of time. And it's essential to have conversations with her so she'll know what to expect.

Tell her who her teacher will be and explain things to her about school work and recess. Let know what time she'll be picked up. Explaining these things can help lower your child's anxiety level tremendously, says Schwall.

A clean break

PhotoWhen you drop your child off, it's important not to hang around, because it'll only make things tougher for both of you.

"Make a clean getaway," says Schwall. "Because if we're lingering in the classroom or we go back in and peek in the door [it's bad]. We need to show our child that the teacher is now there to care for him or her."

But be sure to say goodbye and don't just sneak out, say experts. You certainly want to leave quickly, but you don't want to dart out without your child knowing.

Saying the right thing

Schwall says talking to your children about the school day when it's over will only make them feel more secure.

Saying things like, "I told you there was no reason to be nervous," is the wrong thing to say, because it could make your child feel like he did something wrong by feeling nervous.

In addition, Whiteside says you should get a strong sense of what makes your child feel nervous about school. This will allow you to tailor your conversations accordingly, so you can help your child get rid of his fears.

Back to school routine

For older children who have already been to school, Whiteside says you should start getting them back to their school routine ahead of time. 

One thing he suggests is contacting your child's school friends, so everyone can hang out, which can help your child feel much better about his first day. 

Having a conversation with your child's teacher can help, too. If your child knows what to expect at the beginning of the school year, he'll be able to prepare both mentally and academically. 

If your child continues to have anxiety, you should talk with your family doctor or your child's pediatrician, says Whiteside.

Confidence building

Dr. Robyn Silverman, a child and adolescent development expert, said putting children in activities like sports can help build their confidence, which can help them with their fears about school. She calls these activities "positive risk taking."

"Positive risk taking happens when you are involved with sports or martial arts or drama classes. When you know that you can get up in front of other people, and you can do something that makes you feel successful--that you're getting rewarded for," said Silverman in a TV interview.

"But you're also doing something that lets you know you can be successful but you can also fail. You can fail, you can get up and you can dust yourself off and then you can be successful again."

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