Each new school year is bound to bring its own anxiety and concern, although it may be not the first and the second one, no matter pandemic or not pandemic. It is an exciting affair in its own right and oftentimes worrying. New teachers may require adaptation, additional workloads, and complicated relationships inside the class. It’s up to parents to recognize the onset of anxiety in good time and work to diminish the back-to-school stress as much as they can. So, how to reduce back-to-school anxiety?
Ways to recognize anxiety
Children can be besieged by anxiety and yet remain unable to express their concerns verbally. To recognize their condition, parents have to observe them. Anxiety may express itself in the following symptoms:
- Children become unnaturally clingy
- They are too agitated and unsettled
- They can develop stomachaches
- Their manner of eating changes, sleep becomes troubled
- Their thoughts and remarks tend to become strongly negative
- Their nerves seem to be always on edge
- They can burst out crying without good reason
- They seem to be unable to concentrate
If you noticed these symptoms, what can you do to make the child relax?
Begin with an open-hearted conversation
Acknowledging a problem, both on your part and on the kid(s) part, can be a great step towards easing the situation up. Let your child talk, validate what they have to say and avoid judging their feelings. They ought to feel brighter after they voiced their vexations.
Get busy preparing
Alter the customary household routine to suit the transition. Prepare the homework corner so they begin to feel in a customary setting; make arrangements for school lunches. As the kid(s) get drawn in organizing, they lay off their anxiety which is replaced by recognizable situations.
Don’t let them believe they are alone
They may believe it’s only they who are troubled by misgivings; talk to them about it and put it across that quite a lot of schoolchildren may be nervous at this very time for this very reason. Also, teachers understand that children will be restless and flustered and are likely to do things to make them feel relaxed and natural.
Don’t tell all
You may be harboring some negative attitudes and misgivings about the coming academic year yourself – but mind you keep them close to your chest. Any negative remarks of yours related to school life will only aggravate your child’s worrying unnecessarily.
Get your kid to broach this subject with pals
Fantasizing about the coming school time with pals may well take the edge off the worry. They can play and discuss what they will do at school and what extracurricular activities they can take up.
Make the pre-school atmosphere positive by discussing the new year in an exhilarating manner; encourage the kid to indulge in reminiscing about the happy times of the previous year.
As you schedule the new-school-year shopping, take them along and engage them in the shopping bustle; the process could inspire a positive attitude and a kind of expectant excitement. Shopping can make going back to school look more normal.
Together with the kid sit down and plan their future studies: examine the school bag and stationery, see that everything necessary is in stock.
Stick to a new schedule
Since altering of their daily schedule is imminent, you would do well to aim the kids at introducing the necessary alterations in a modified form about a week before school starts. It will help to make it smoother and avoid the kids’ possible irritation due to sudden changes in their eating and sleeping routine.
Take part in reforming their routine
New everyday habits will have to be introduced, like getting everything ready for the next day in the evening so as to avoid a fussy morning and choose a suitable waking-up time. If your child(ren) led a greatly different life from the school-time one they may have a hard time in the mornings. As they go over their studying schedule with you they will be getting ready to reset their biological clock to the new mode.
Don’t get frustrated
When the school-opening day has arrived, be ready to deal with your frustration as your kid fails to conduct the morning routine in good time. Stay calm and avoid infecting your offspring with your own agitation. Act systematically and solve the small morning tasks as they arise without emotional outbursts.
Uphold healthy habits
Anxiety and misgivings can worsen when a person doesn’t observe healthy habits. Ensure the child eats mostly healthy food regularly, takes regular exercises, and enjoys sound and sufficient sleep. All these will combine to ensure the proper function of the brain, average concentration and balanced moods throughout the day.
Seek for stress-relievers
We all need our little ruses to vent inner pressure building up. You ought to know by now where your child will find relief in an active game and movement or is inclined to recharge themselves quietly, drawing pictures or reading. See to it that the child can shake off stress when it is necessary.
What always works for your little one when they are filled with anxiety against the coming school is the knowledge that you are available and supportive. Don’t act dismissively towards their feelings and fears, even if they are unrealistic. Let them process this experience without your active interference in the process.
The very awareness that parents are there for you and perceive your state of mind can be a powerful relief factor. Maybe your child needs no more than this, yet be ready to come up with advice, employ some alleviating measure, or, in grave cases, consult a psychologist or a therapist.