Childhood anxiety is no fun for kids or parents. Going back to school can stimulate such anxiety.
It’s that time of year again. Summer is over and school is back in session. Your child never stopped smiling, was constantly laughing, and seemed to always be in positive spirits during the summer months. Yet, childhood anxiety can strike without warning.
Now, they appear to be more clingy. They’re restless. Their concentration is less than stellar. Stomachaches are becoming a constant. Their eating and sleeping habits seem to be very inconsistent despite your best efforts to get them on a schedule. Their positive spirits seem to have taken a turn for the worse. They can’t seem to control their emotions.
Back-to-school anxiety is completely normal for all ages.
Children can face back-to-school anxiety after the summer break or starting a new grade.
No matter the reason, parents can help ease the transition back to school and relieve some of their children’s stress and anxiety.
Here’s how to help your child if they’re anxious about going to school.
Be There for Them
If your child is experiencing anxiety about going back to school, they’re not alone.
No matter what age or grade level they are, all children face anxiety when it comes to going back to school. Let them know that you’re there for them and that their teachers and friends will be, too.
You may be able to help ease them into the transition by scheduling playdates with friends from school. Having a friend who is experiencing the same things as them can be a huge reassurance to them.
Remind your child how great school can be. They’re learning new things and meeting new friends, teachers, and staff members. They’re also likely to be getting some new back-to-school clothes and school supplies.
If they’re not as pumped about sitting in the classroom, remind them that they also have time with friends, gym and art classes, and recess! They have a lot of things to look forward to that they may have forgotten about!
To make the transition as smooth as it can be, try to be present before and after school if your schedule allows it. Spending that extra time to drop them off at school in the morning or be there when they get home can be a huge relief to your child.
If, for some reason, your career isn’t as flexible with your hours, spend time writing them notes that they can read during their day. Put a note in their book bag or lunch box. Make sure you ask them about their day and offer to help with their homework as well.
Promote a Healthy Lifestyle
Focus on living a healthy lifestyle from the inside out. Try to encourage healthy meals, exercise habits, and a sleep routine.
In addition to nutrition, exercise is essential as well. Make sure your child isn’t stuck inside playing video games. Get outside with them and get their body moving. Find a sport or hobby they enjoy, and sign them up for a team. Practice catch with them outside. Go on a family walk, rollerblading, or a bike ride.
Another equally important area of healthy living is sleep. Sleep is essential for your body and mind to rest and recover. Anxiety can have a huge effect on sleep, so it’s important to try to stick to a schedule and a routine so that your child gets an adequate amount of rest each night.
Seek Outside Help
Sometimes back-to-school anxiety can actually stem from a completely different issue. An outside third party, like a trained and licensed therapist, can be exactly what your child needs. A therapist can help teach them coping techniques for when they’re experiencing anxiety and stress.
Back-to-school time can be just as stressful and chaotic for parents. If you or your child is experiencing back-to-school anxiety, reach out today for a consultation for childhood anxiety.
We can get you back on track to living your life to the fullest without the anxiety and worry.