“Self Care Means Giving Yourself Permission To Pause.”
Back to school anxiety during times of change or transition can be a normal reaction. It particularly holds true for children attending kindergarten for the first time, also teens or kids going back to school. Such a change can be unsettling and stressful for the whole family. Before the first day of school, the kid may cry, withdraw, cling, whine about stomach pains or headaches, throw temper tantrums, and become irritable or gloomy.
Anxious teens and kids may be stressed and worried about varied issues related to school, including fitting in, teachers, new/old friends, or being away from their mom and pop. They may be concerned about things like:
Will my class have any of my friends? What if I miss the school bus? Will I fit in? Who will be my new teacher, and what if she is terrible? Are my clothes fine? Who will sit with me at lunch? Will I look dull or stupid? What if something bad happens to parents when at school? And, What if I cannot comprehend the new books at school?
Even though it’s typical of kids to be worried, it is essential for parents to ensure that their child attends school. Not going to school will only help reinforce and raise the fears of the child in the long-term, thereby further increasing the level of difficulty in attending school.
Additionally, kids who stay back home due to anxiety will not only miss schoolwork, but also miss out on key chances for accomplishment and mastery, precious prospects to build up and apply social skills, nurturing close friendships with others in class, and being recognized and applauded for talents.
The most important thing is that children who avoid school due to anxiety cannot collect proof which disputes their disastrous and unrealistic fears.
Below are some tips that can help parents prevent back to school anxiety in their kids:
- Check the basics. Ensure that your child is not hungry, is well-fed, and has adequate sleep.
- Prior to the school days beginning, begin the process of preparing your kids for the transition by habituating them into the routines of back to school, such as selection of the clothes for tomorrow, and proper bedtime, etc.
- Go to the school with your child before the year begins. Rehearse the school drop off and if the building is open, spend some time inside the classroom or on the playground.
- Encourage your children to share their fears. Avoid offering reassurance, but rather engage in problem solving and planning. Do role-plays with your kid. Keep the focus on positive facets of going back to school.
- Before the school opens, organize play dates with one, two, or more peers who your child is familiar with. Studies show that mixing with known peers during back to school transition can enhance the emotional and academic adjustment of kids.
- Kids take cues from their mom and dad. Hence, if parents exude more comfort and confidence, then their children are going to be confident and non-anxious. So, parents should pay attention to their own behavior when around kids.
Today’s school system can in itself cause massive amounts of back to school anxiety for kids and parents. That’s why I wrote this article to show you the points to why this can manifest.
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