Back to school time can bring a lot of excitement, but what about those kids that have anxiety? There are tons of thoughts swirling in their heads. No matter what age I was, I remember having a million thoughts in my head the week before school started. My son started school back for the year today, and I could tell that he was super anxious. I did the best that I could to answer every question that he had and to reassure him that everything would be fine.
Even the youngest of kids deal with back to school anxiety. Even as adults, we may feel anxiety as school creeps up on us. Some of the basic fears a child has are:
- What if my teacher hates me?
- Will I get good grades?
- Will I have friends?
- Am I going to know anyone in my class?
- What if I get lost?
These fears are not irrational and are in fact some of the basic fears we as parents have for our children. However, anxiety about things we have no control over isn’t going to help anyone. Here are some ways of dealing with back to anxiety:
Know the Teacher
Most anxiety can be deterred by finding out who the teacher is ahead of time. Make sure your child not only knows where their classroom is, but is able to meet their teacher prior to the first day of school. Open houses are a great way for your child and you to feel more comfortable about the first day.
Anxiety can be triggered through lack of adequate nutrition, low blood sugar, and dehydration. Make sure you and your child are eating 3 healthy meals a day and drinking plenty of water. The better you feel physically, the better you feel emotionally.
Talk about it
Talk about your fears and anxiety with your children. The key to working through emotional stress is being able to figure out the root cause of it. Encourage your child to talk about their feelings as you share your own feelings.
Help Your Kids Fit in
One of the hardest things about being a kid is not fitting in with your peers. Make this transition easier by having Friday night movie parties, birthday parties, or other social events in which your kids can invite friends from school.
Back to school anxiety comes in all shapes and forms. Both parents and children face it, but you can both deal with it and get through it. What other back to school anxiety tips can you give other parents? Share your tips in the comments below!