Helping Your Child Cope With Anxiety When Going Back To School

It is that time of year again where your child/children are going back to school. It is challenging knowing that your schedule is going to change again and you are going to have to help your child adjust to the pressures of school, homework, and after school activities.

Some children worry about going back to school. Who will their teacher be this year? Will they know anyone in their class? Will they get bullied again? As a parent, how can you help your child cope with the anxieties of a new school year.

1. Having a Plan. Sometimes children worry about where their new class room is located or what bus they are suppose to take. Take some time before school begins to identify the new school plan/schedule and how to accomplish each task. Take your child to visit their school before the first day and show them where their classroom is or what bus stop they are suppose to go walk to. This will help relieve worries the first day of school.

2. Helping your child when they are feeling overwhelmed. After your child attends their first day of school, they may feel overwhelmed with expectations, homework, and adjusting to their new schedule. Talk to your child about what they are thinking and feeling and validate their concerns. Take time to help your child identify solutions to their concerns. Identify and discuss positive ways your child coped with their concerns in their past.

3. Practice Self-care. It is very important that during a time of adjustment that both parents and children take time for self-care. Make time to do something that you and your child/children enjoy. It can be challenging at first when your child has homework to do, but sometimes they need a couple of minutes to unwind and refocus their brains before they do their homework. Have a plan in place that both you and your child can agree upon of when a good time to do homework will be after school. Be consistent and follow through with the agreed upon plan.

If you feel like your child is struggling with anxiety beyond the first weeks of school, seek professional counseling services. Professional counseling can help understand what is triggering your child's anxiety and teach them ways to cope with their thoughts and feelings. It is important to address any concerns so that these challenges can be resolved and your child can have a great school year!