How to help your child with back-to-school anxiety
The Sunday Scaries are back! Check out some helpful ways to alleviate back-to-school anxiety in your kiddo.
How to help your child with back-to-school anxieties
It’s that time of the year again. Summer camps are ending, back to school sales are flooding your email inbox, and summer vacation is quickly coming to an end. As you’re starting to get organized for the inevitable back-to-school season, your child might be experiencing some anxiety with the start of a new school year. Here are four easy ways to help check-in and support them during this hectic time.
Check in with your child
If you have multiple children, make sure to do this individually. Help them out with identifying and naming what feelings they are experiencing as the school year draws near. Validate these feelings, whatever they are. It’s okay to feel scared, sad, nervous, excited, or dread about the new school year! Naming these feelings and talking about them helps you be able to work through them together.
Start the routine early
When there’s stress about the unknown, routines can help bring stability and predictability. This can look like bringing back their school year sleep schedule two weeks prior to the start of the school year. That way, figuring out how they’re managing their sleep routine is one less thing to worry about when school starts. Maybe if they’re starting high school, walking through their schedule with them can help ease some stresses. Preview these different routines to help them with confidence when that first day starts.
Reach out for help
If your child is experiencing a tough transition or is experiencing more anxiety than usual, don’t hesitate to reach out to their teacher, school social worker, or guidance counselor. Letting them know that this is a tough time of year for your child can make the support staff aware and they can check in more. In addition, letting your child know who their counselor is if they’re starting at a new school can help them know where to go if they’re having a tough day.
Check in with yourself
Children are very observant, and can pick up on the stresses of others even at a young age. If you are experiencing stress or anxiety about the back-to-school season, your child might be picking up on this as well. Take some time for yourself. As my colleague Stephanie Kippenburger wrote, self care for parents is necessary, not selfish! Check out some of the parental self care ideas she wrote here. When your child sees that you are modeling a more calm, relaxed attitude about the start of the school year, that can help them exude a similar calmness and confidence for the new school year ahead.
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