With the start of the school year approaching soon, it’s important to start preparing for the change in routine and all that comes with it. One of the most important things to do in preparation for the school year is helping your kids beat back to school anxiety.
Dealing with Back to School Anxiety
The end of the summer season is often challenging for many kids, especially if they are heading to school for the first time or are starting at a new school. While there are plenty of things to get excited about, many kids worry about judgement from their peers, starting new classes, and keeping up with the demands of the school routine. The simple fact that their routine is about to change is also enough in itself to increase anxiety andcause some sleep problems. Thankfully, there is plenty you can do to ease your kids’ nerves about starting the new school year.
Start Their Routine Early
The week before school starts, get your kids started on their new schedules for the school year, including waking up, eating lunch, and going to bed. This will get them used to their back to school routine with less pressure. You can also have your kids start planning their school lunches with you to make planning healthy school lunches easier.
Encourage them to Communicate their Worries
One of the best ways to deal with anxiety at any age, if not the best way, is to talk about it. Be sure to check in on your kids before the school year starts to see if there is anything, in particular, they are worried about. If they seem shy about talking about it, you can find creative ways to get your kids to communicate their anxiety. One way is to create a “worry wall” where you create a grid of post-it notes and have your kids fill in the notes with what they are worried about.
Teach Healthy Coping Skills
In preparation for the upcoming school year, be sure to encourage your kids to findways to deal with anxiety naturally, such as practicing mindfulness, deep breathing, and doing physical activities. You should also walk your kids through each of their worries they wrote on the worry wall by giving them practical ways to address those worries. Perhaps, they’re worried about making friends and you give them advice about starting conversations. Or, maybe you practice packing their bag together if they’re worried about forgetting something. As you address each worry, you can tear it down from the worry wall until the wall is gone.
By walking your kids through their worries about going back to school and helping them practice healthy coping skills, they can feel ready to start the new school year feeling calm and confident.