Minnesota's first day back to school brings mix of emotions

Students across the metro are relaxing and recapping after many wrapped up their first day back to school. 

At Cedar Ridge Elementary School in Eden Prairie, the first day went off without a hitch. First graders and kindergartners lined up with big smiles for their 3 p.m. dismissal. 

Parent Kathleen McFadden waited for her daughter Claire to come out after her first day of kindergarten. 

“She's my last and I've got two teenagers so it's pretty surreal and emotional and everything. We're excited, we're a little sad, but it's all good,” McFadden said. 

Many parents know those feelings. Doctors say the back-to-school emotions are normal. 

“There is normal anxiety and we all have anxiety whenever we start something new,” said Dr. Mary Beth Lardizabal, Child and Teen Psychiatrist at Allina Health. 

While parents often worry about how their children will handle the first day, Dr. Lardizabal said that anticipatory anxiety should diminish over time. 

“The first two weeks of school I don’t really see too many kids, but about the 3rd or 4th week, that’s when I start to get calls from parents,” Lardizabal said. 

While parents are watching their kids, Dr. Lardizabal said adults should also keep an eye on their own moods. 

“Just having the end of the summer, having our own wishes and aspirations for our children, I think we as parents really need to check that and be supportive of our kids but not put undue expectations on them,” Lardizabal said.

“A lot of times as parents, we have a lot of wishes and we want to protect our kids. We don’t want them to have stress or anxiety, we want them to be successful. But the reality is, they’re going to have trials in their school day and if they can be successful, then that’s going to be a tool for them to move forward,” Lardizabal said.

Governor Mark Dayton marked his last first day of school as governor by welcoming incoming students at Carver Elementary School in Maplewood.