Helping your Children Cope with Back-to-School Anxiety
For some kids, the start of a new school year can be exciting and something that they long for. However, other children might dread the transition and experience significant anxiety. While some anxiety is beneficial, it can turn into a problem if it is inappropriate or getting in the way of the child’s daily activities.
According to the Washington Post, anxiety disorder usually emerges between the ages of 6 and 12. Because of this early onset, it can affect the whole range of school-aged children. Easing your children with anxiety back into school can be difficult, but it isn’t impossible. Try these tips to get the school year off to a great start:
Set an Early Wake-Up Time
No one likes to be rushed in the morning while they’re getting ready for their day. If your child has anxiety, it is even more important to ensure that they have plenty of time to get ready so that the morning isn’t any more stressful than it needs to be. If you’ve gotten off of your usually schedule during summer break, you might want to practice getting ready for school a week or two ahead of time, especially if your child is younger. If your child knows that they can get ready in time for school, they are less likely to be stressed on the morning before school starts. Having a set morning routine can make everyone feel more secure and relaxed in the morning.
Of course, you don’t want to wake your children up so early that it cuts into their sleep. This might mean that they need to go to bed earlier than they’re use to. Sleep is vital for developing kids, and you should avoid cutting into it.
Ease Back into It
While most children will only have minor anxiety before school starts, some children will be more anxious than others. If your child seems specifically anxious, it might be a good idea to have them see a professional. You should also talk to them about the danger of self-medicating using drugs. Substance abuse begins as self-medication.
Separation anxiety can cripple children for the first weeks of school. If your child is upset throughout the school day, it can be very difficult for them to focus on their lessons and get what they need from their schooling. While most children will get over this stress after getting back into the routine, it can be incredibly difficult for some children to warm up to the idea of school. Luckily, there are a number of things you can do to ease them back into the school day and avoid anxiety over the separation. If possible, you should visit their school and particularly their classroom before school starts.
Let them get used to the idea of spending time in that space and with their teacher. You might also want to try reading books about going to school and running through what will happen on the first day. Parents.com also has a variety of other ideas to easing back into the routine.
Make Sure You Have All the Gear
There is a long list of school supplies you need at the beginning of each year. To ensure that your child’s first day goes smoothly, make sure you purchase everything they need and put it in their bag before the first day of school. There is nothing more stressful than getting to school and realizing you’ve left something important at home. Make sure to organize everything in their bag or binder and show them where everything is so that they can find it easily. If they are old enough, have them help you organize it according to their taste. The more organized their equipment is, the less stressed they will be able finding all their supplies.
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