Tips for Dealing With Back to School Anxiety
As the end of the school holidays draws near, some students will experience school anxiety. This may manifest as worried comments, sleep issues, stomach upsets, and irritability.
School Anxiety at this time of year is no cause for major concern. Dealing with new teachers, classrooms and schedules is not easy and kids need time to adjust. A good alternative to make your child’s school adaptation less complicated is to implement in-home tutoring.
While anxiety is a normal reaction to change, there are many things you can do to ease your student’s mind.
Talk About It
When kids talk about their concerns, it helps put these concerns in perspective. Common back-to-school worries for children include whether they’ll like their new teacher, who they’ll play with or sit with during breaks and whether the work will be too hard.
Younger students may experience separation anxiety after spending a lot of time with parents during the holidays. This is an especially difficult time for students who experienced bullying during the previous school year.
Your role is to listen with empathy and allow your student to express themselves freely. Don’t dismiss their concerns as silly or ungrounded. Sometimes a sympathetic ear is all kids need to manage their fears.
Accentuate the Positive
While parents should never dismiss children’s fears, you can remind them of the good times they had during the last school year, even though they were probably just as nervous about going back after the holidays.
Another strategy is to talk through the things your child is worried about and come up with ideas for how to deal with different situations. This approach is helpful for some kids but should be used with caution as it may cause others to overthink things, creating more anxiety.
Organise a Play Date
If your child hasn’t spent much time with school friends during the holidays, it’s a great idea to organise a play date so they can spend time together before school goes back. Reconnecting with friends will help alleviate first day nerves.
Check Your Anxiety
Children pick up on parents’ emotions, so if you’re feeling anxious about the new school year, chances are your child will notice. This is a difficult time for parents too, particularly if your child is starting school.
It’s important to remain calm, positive, and supportive. If kids sense you’re worried, they may think it’s because you don’t have confidence in them.
You can make the transition back to school easier by:
- Establishing a sleep routine in the last week of the holidays.
- Allowing kids to choose pencil cases, school bags and other supplies. This will help them feel excited about the new year.
- Playing educational games to get their brains ready to learn. This is a good time to start tutoring sessions.
- Making sure you know bus times, start times and other important details before the first day.
- Expressing confidence in your child’s ability to cope.
While anxiety is normal at the start of a new school year, if it persists beyond the first month, you may need to seek help. Serious ongoing anxiety can impact your child’s quality of life and hinder learning.