by Jenny Wise jenny@specialhomeeducatorcom
Photo credit by Unsplash
It’s time to get back to school. While most kids would rather stay on vacation, for teens and tweens with anxiety, this time of year induces dread. Anxiety BC writes that common worries include stress over a new teacher, whether they will fit in, and more.
Now is the time for parents to help kids relieve their worries with these tips.
Start With Communication
Begin by listening to their worries. ChildMind.org advises that you acknowledge their fears rather than dismissing them out of hand.
You can help your child come up with ideas to handle these issues but what he really wants is to solve them himself. Encourage him that he has the skills he needs to handle the situation.
Plan A Positive Start To The Day
Plan ahead to tackle school days, especially if your child is attending school at a different time. Try these tips:
● Make sure you have plenty of time in the morning, even if you or your child is not a morning person. Don’t add extra pressure by trying to sleep a few minutes later.
● Check your behavior. If you tend to lose your temper in the morning, you will stress your child. Take a moment and do three deep cleansing breaths when you begin to lose your patience.
● Prep whatever you can at night. Teach your child to do the same.
● Build your child up with a healthy breakfast that contains protein, along with some positive affirmations or prayers to start the day.
If your child is going to a new school, here are some excellent tips from GreatSchools.org that can help him adjust.
Ease Them Back Into School
Don’t start getting ready the day before school starts. Psychology Today recommends that you take some time in advance to help your child cope with anxiety by:
● Getting their class schedule as early as possible.
● Taking a walk through the school when it’s empty to find their classes.
● Attending orientation.
Also, see if you can meet any of their assigned teachers in advance.
Finally, make sure they are not being overwhelmed. For example, don’t leave supplies and new clothes for the last weekend before school. Limit how many clubs they join in the first week. For more tips to ease back-to-school anxiety, read this article from Very Well Family.
Organizing Tips For An Exciting Back To School Experience
What does your child like about school? He may have subjects he likes, after-school activities he is excited about, and friends he has not seen all summer. To build your child’s excitement, try these tips:
● Have Him Create His Own Space
Don’t just give your child a designated study space; let him actively design it! He can pick paint, décor, a desk, fun lighting, etc. Check out these ideas from Parents.com on how to set up his space.
● Organize Extracurricular Activities
In his study space, you can set up a calendar that counts down his extracurricular activities such as sports, clubs or activities outside of school. Set up fun events he can look forward to each month, like bowling with his friends or a family outing to local events.
● Buy Him A Laptop
Help your child get excited about school by buying him a laptop that he can use for home and for his own activities. The bonus for you is that you can protect your own laptop from sticky hands and spills. There are lots of laptops on the market designed and priced just for kids. Take a look at this listing of the best kid-friendly laptops on the market. Bring him along to shop and customize it.
For more tips on helping your children handle anxiety, this article from the Huffington Post shows how to help them through worry.
This can be a worrisome time, but if you take the right steps in advance to help your child, he’ll soon be looking forward to going back to school.