Tips to Manage Back to School Anxiety Among Kids
As a parent to a school-going child, you know how overwhelming it can be to prepare them to go back to school. Mid-term breaks are not as hard as long breaks, especially during the holidays. Resisting to go back to school can be met with high anxiety levels erupting as bad behavior and attitude. Thankfully, you are not the only parent who faces this problem.
The Common Symptoms of Anxieties Among Children
One major win you can have as a parent is to notice any signs of anxiety that your child may have. Whether or not there may be a clinical issue that needs professional medical attention by a doctor, learning about the triggers of anxiety for your child is crucial so you can begin working on the solutions. Some of the symptoms that your child has anxiety ate:
- Having nightmares at night – If your child has a hard time going to sleep because of night terrors and bad dreams, it could be that they are struggling with anxiety.
- Loss of appetite – It will often be random, without any other signs of health problems.
- Irritability – Easily irritable children are likely to be suffering from anxiety. The irritability may manifest as mood swings or sudden outbursts of anger over minute issues.
- Fidgety feelings – an anxious kid may have a hard time staying still. You may even notice their increased urge to use the toilet every couple of minutes.
- Difficulty concentrating – it could be that your child is mostly zoned-out or easily distracted by things going on around them.
- Increased negativity – whether regarding their talk or general perspective, you may notice that your child has several negative thoughts.
Reasons for Back to School Anxieties
After being home for a while, it can get overwhelming for children to think about going back to school. Long holidays are more difficult because they require significant adjustment. Some of the factors that can cause anxiety for your child when they think of going back to their daycare in Calgary include:
- Bullying – While it should be easy to notice any signs of bullying in your child, it may not always be obvious. Sometimes children will feel anxious about rejoining school because of a precious bullying occurrence.
- Separation anxiety – Separation can be a big problem even for adults. When you familiarize yourself with a certain environment or group of people for a while, departing from them can be difficult. After spending a lot of time with family members and neighborhood friends, children can develop separation anxiety regarding going back to school and abandoning all that. Your role as a parent is to remind your child that it is not a permanent separation and assure them of being together after school hours.
- Social anxiety – Social anxiety is common among children who struggle making friends. If your child is moving into a new school or rejoining a previous one, where they didn’t have many friends, anxiety can creep into their minds. The idea of spending many hours in the school hallways alone with no one to talk to can make your child resistant to going back to school.
- Poor performance – If your kid has been struggling to get good grades at school, it may cause anxiety to think of going back there. School becomes a reminder of their inadequacy, hence causing feelings of anxiety.
Tips for Teachers to Manage the Back to School Anxieties Among Kids
While it is up to parents to help manage the anxiety levels of their kids, teachers too can help children overcome school-related anxiety. Some tips that teachers can employ include:
- Taking deep breaths – It help your students practice taking deep breaths, which can help calm their nerves and release some pressure.
- Engage in outdoor activities – being in a classroom all day long can make kids feel caged and elevate their feelings of anxiety. Taking breaks to be outside in the open can promote calmness.
- Communicate openly – Children need to feel validated for what they are feeling. Let them know that anxiety is not a personal flaw but can happen to anyone. Allow them to also share about why they are anxious and provide relevant solutions accordingly.
- Help them journal – A gratitude journal is a great way to shift people’s perspectives toward the good things in their lives and discourage the need for self-pity.