The school season is upon us, and while some kids can’t wait to go back to school, there are some who are anxious about leaving the house and you. Maybe you’ve noticed that they’re quiet or lag behind when it’s time to get ready for school. Or they lose their appetite or throw tantrums because they want to avoid going back to school. While it’s perfectly normal for children to have a little anxiety come the new school year, we’ve got some tips on how you can help your child cope with back to school anxiety.
One way to help ease anxiety is to be prepared. From transitioning your child back to his or her school schedule to buying school supplies together, and even making sure that they’ve got their baon ready–it’s always good to have all the basics covered. Adding a personal touch, like a little note or even a special snack is also a plus!
When it comes to anxiety, the best way to help your child is to talk to him or her. You can start by asking if there’s anything in particular that’s worrying them. Is it the new environment? His or her classmates? The teachers? Is your child anxious about making friends? Whatever the reason, make sure to empathize with your child, and focus on the positives. If your child has a hard time talking about it, you can try and use books–there are many books with back to school topics–to try and open him or her up.
Now that you’ve talked about it, you can both try to figure out how to combat the problem. While reassurances like, “Don’t worry about it,” or “You’ll be fine,” or even “Everything will be okay, you’ll see!” are well and good, it’ll be even better if you can get your child to try and think of how to solve the problem. Maybe you can ask him or her questions like, “If [scenario A] happens, what will you do?”
You can also help your child with a little role playing. You can pretend to drop him or her off at school, or pretend to be a teacher and a classmate. You can even have a dry run of the ‘worst case scenario’ just so that your child will be prepared.
If your child is already anxious, then the last thing that you want to do is amplify his or her anxiety. When your child notices that you are anxious, that will just add to his or her anxiety–and that’s exactly what we’re trying to get rid of! Try to exude confidence and cheerfulness, and hopefully your child will catch on too.