The start of a new year at school can be exciting for some kids, but for some others, it can be filled with anxiety and stress, which in turn, gets you, as a parent, concerned. From temper tantrums and crying, the anxiety can manifest itself in different ways. I’ve got some tips to help your kids tackle back-to-school anxiety.
Starting preschool was a tough experience for my son and we’re just now recovering from the anxiety caused from the rough start. If your little one has started showing any of these signs, or you expect they will, here are some actionable steps.
How to Help your Kids Tackle Back-to-School Anxiety
Listen To Them
Whenever your little one expresses his concern, anger, worry, anxiety or any other emotion about getting back to school, always be there to listen. Allow him to open up about what’s on his mind, and the things he feels he struggles with, and then, rather than dismissing those fears, acknowledge them, and help him shape and transform them into something better. Show your confidence in your kid- it works in magical ways.
These are some of the common worries amongst kids:
- Who will be my new teacher?
- What if my new teacher is mean?
- Will any of my friends be in my class?
- Will I fit in?
- Are my clothes OK?
- Will I look stupid?
- Who will I sit with at lunch?
- What if I miss the bus?
- What if I can’t understand the new schoolwork?
- What if something bad happens to mom or dad while I am at school?
Let A Professional Know
If you’ve got a kid who’s extra sensitive, don’t hesitate to reach out and let his teachers or the school psychologist know. It always helps to have both hands on deck when getting your child to make a successful transition into his new school year. Not only will this help your little one get a bit more relaxed and comfortable with the idea of getting back to school, but it’ll also give you that much needed peace of mind.
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Focus On Problem Solving
Yes, reassuring your child does help and goes a long way in calming your little one down, but don’t rely on just that completely. Focus on helping your child learn how to face his fears and solve his problems instead. The next time you find him freaking out about something, sit down with him and discuss some ways you both could tackle the situation.
Children learn from experience- both their own and others, and that’s exactly why, telling stories about how you overcame your anxiety at school, or just reading out stories about kids going back to school can be helpful as well. Look up some good books online that focus on the positive and happy aspects about getting back to school.
Related Post: Tips For A Healthy Back-To-School Year
Take Their Mind Off The Back-To-School Anxiety
Children possess a wonderful quality that will work in your favor when it comes to helping them beat the anxiety- they get distracted super easily. The next time you feel your kid’s anxiety coming up, get him occupied with a constructive activity, preferably with some of his friends or school-mates. This will help calm down his worries and help him develop a sort of coping mechanism as well.
Try to focus on the positive aspects of school, like making new friends and learning more. Encourage them and let them know they’ll be smarter because they are learning. Ask your child, “What are three things that you are most excited about on your first day of school?” You’ll be surprised how they’ll open up and talk to you about the subject.