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!
#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.
#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.
#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.
#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.
#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.
#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.
#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.