How to Help Your Kids With Back-to-School Anxiety
By Genevieve Cunningham
Going back to school is fun for most kids. Sure, they complain and want more time off. But they also have a lot of fun meeting with their friends, making new friends, and learning new things. Of course, it's important to note that excitement isn't the only emotion that kids feel before the first day. Many kids are riddled with a very big emotion leading up to the big day: anxiety. Anxiety isn't something that's specific to adults. Kids feel it too, and it can seriously harm their overall well-being. To help your kids manage the back-to-school anxiety, take a look at these tips that might help.
The more prepared your children feel, the less anxiety they'll feel. Go ahead and start with bedtime and morning routines right now. Give them some time to get comfortable. Then ease into a lunchtime routine. Then ease into an after-school routine. Kids feel better when they know what to expect. Ease them into a new schedule and routines now so that when school starts, there are fewer new things to get accustomed to.
Talk About It
Open dialogue is so important. Start talking with your kids about any concerns that they have. And most importantly, don't take their concerns lightly! Instead, help them find a solution. Are they worried about lunch? Talk out scenarios for eating in a time limit and sitting with friends. Are they worried about friend conflict? Use role play to help them work through imaginary scenarios. Let your kids know that you have their back. That you are their biggest supporter. This helps your children know that they're not alone, which might help alleviate some of that fear.
Give Them Some Freedom
Don't forget that kids are people. They have their own thoughts and personalities. They have worries. When your kids go back to school, make sure they still have some free time. They need some time to play and relax and unwind. Don't over-schedule them or give them too much to do. Allow them a little freedom; it might not be quite as hard for them to deal with the stress of school all day long.
Anxiety is tough! It can make you feel completely out of sorts. It can raise your heart rate and blood pressure. It can make you feel afraid. Help your children deal with their anxiety through the transition into the school year. With a little support, they may be able to manage their emotions and get back into the groove with their health and wellness intact.
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