LIFESTYLE

Back-to-School Anxiety? Here Are 7 Ways to Help Kids Stay Calm

Back-to-School Anxiety? Help Kids Stay Calm

School buses. Lunch boxes. Activities. And anxiety? We’re heading into the “back-to-school” season, and while the change is welcome and exciting for many kids, other kids struggle with back-to-school anxiety. If your kiddo is one of those that feels overwhelmed or dread at the thought of school starting, there are ways you can help.

As a busy mom, knowing how to help our kids manage their anxiety around school can be hard. One place to start is by understanding where their anxiety comes from. For some, it’s the fear of the unknown: teachers, friends, and classes may all be new, and that can feel unsettling. For others, fitting in and navigating social groups can cause worry. Talking to your kids about their concerns may help them recognize where their worries lie. Once you have a sense of where your kid’s anxiety stems from, you’ll be able to help them learn to manage their emotions. Keep in mind that back-to-school anxiety is normal, and it also usually diminishes after the first week of school (or so).

If you’re looking for additional strategies to help your kids manage their worry, we’ve got you covered. All of these strategies are simple and effective – and you can start them right now! Ready to tame your kids’ back-to-school anxiety? Here are 7 ways to help them stay calm.

Feeling anxious in your own life? Click here to learn top tips to de-stress!

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#1 | Manage Your Own Anxiety

Kids do pick up on our emotions. If you’re feeling anxious about the start of school, it’s possible that your kiddos reflect that anxiety back to you. Managing your anxiety around school will help you stay calm enough to support your kid. Also, it will model the behavior you want for them.

mom listening to teen, Back-to-school anxiety, kids anxiety, back-to-school worries, help kids anxiety, child worried about school, kid worried about school, help kid feel better about school

#2 | Listen Seriously

As loving moms, it can be tempting to downplay our kids’ back-to-school anxiety to try and make them feel better. Unfortunately, that practice can backfire and actually cause more anxiety! Instead, practice serious and active listening. Let them voice their worry without trying to “fix” it. They’ll trust that you believe them and will feel more comfortable sharing their feelings with you.

mom helping child with backpack, Back-to-school anxiety, kids anxiety, back-to-school worries, help kids anxiety, child worried about school, kid worried about school, help kid feel better about school

#3 | Practice Your Routine

If moving to a new school is part of what is causing your child to feel anxious, practicing your school routine can help. They will become familiar with their surroundings and how the morning will flow. This strategy can also help kids who are nervous about separating from you.

tweens outside, Back-to-school anxiety, kids anxiety, back-to-school worries, help kids anxiety, child worried about school, kid worried about school, help kid feel better about school

#4 | Gather with Friends

Hanging out with friends before school starts is a great way to help older children feel more comfortable and connected beforehand. Hosting a get-together will remind your child that they do have friends who care about them and that those friends will be there at school too.

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#5 | Get Outside

Spending time outside can help lower feelings of anxiety in most people. If your kiddo is struggling with back-to-school anxiety, a family picnic or dinner al fresco might be enough to help those feelings dissipate.

Mom kissing child goodnight, Back-to-school anxiety, kids anxiety, back-to-school worries, help kids anxiety, child worried about school, kid worried about school, help kid feel better about school

#6 | Better Sleep

Good sleep is foundational for emotional regulation. Think about how you feel when you’ve pulled a few late nights for work. Not your usual optimistic self, right? The same is true for our kids. When they are chronically overtired, even by just a little bit, it can be more difficult for them to handle strong emotions. Encouraging good sleep hygiene (and helping them practice it) can help them ease back-to-school anxiety.

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#7 | Give Them Tools

Sometimes you may need something external to help your kids manage their back-to-school anxiety. Fidget objects, journals, and even deep breathing tools can help your kiddo learn to regulate their emotions better. Below are some of the best anxiety tools for kids of all ages.

Does your child struggle with back-to-school anxiety? How do you help them stay calm? What are your go-to resources and tools? Let us know in the comments below!

Don’t miss out! Get our blog posts and access to some incredible resources sent right to your inbox by clicking here to subscribe to the newsletter.

1

Meditation Tools

Help your child get a little more grounded by giving them meditation tools. Maybe even use them together, so you can get the benefits too!
2

Breathing Tools

Deep breathing helps calm the nervous system because it triggers your heart rate to slow. Your child can use these whenever they feel anxious, even in school.
3

Fidget Tools

Fidget tools are great because they allow an outlet for nervous energy. These are discrete and sleek enough for even your older kids.
4

Writing Tools

Putting their thoughts to paper can help release their anxiety. These give some direction to help your kid get started. Plus there are options for all ages.
5

Thinking Tools

Changing the way they're thinking about a situation can help many kids feel calmer. These tools help them learn to reframe their thinking.
Julianna Cario
Julianna Cario is a wife, mom to four boys, and loves learning about all things health and wellness, especially gut-health. Julianna has worked as a freelance writer for nine years and a Secondary English teacher for 13 years. A bread-maker and smeller-of old-books, she can be found barefoot outdoors as much as possible. She believes mindset is everything and relishes the uncomfortable feelings that come with personal growth. And while eggs are her favorite food, if she had one meal remaining, she'd choose grilled salmon served rare.

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