Strategies for Coping with Back-to-School Anxiety

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When kids experience anxiety about going back to school, it can have an effect on parents as well. It seems like there's nothing you can do, and the closer the first day of school gets, the more miserable parents and kids feel.

Some practical tips on how to ease this anxiety, though, can help alleviate the back-to-school fears. Here are some ideas.

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Strategies for Coping with Back-to-School Anxiety

  1. 1. Strategies for Coping with Back-to-School AnxietyWhen kids experience anxiety about going back to school, it can have an effecton parents as well. It seems like theres nothing you can do, and the closer thefirst day of school gets, the more miserable parents and kids feel. Some
  2. 2. practical tips on how to ease this anxiety, though, can help alleviate the back-to-school fears. Here are some ideas.Try to UnderstandMaybe you didnt ever suffer from this kind of anxiety as a child; or maybe youdid, but you still just want your child to get over it. However, just gettingannoyed and telling your child to get over it is not necessarily productive, andmay actually make anxiety worse.Psychologists recommend a bit of understanding - while the anxiety shouldnot be "calling the shots," the fact that your child is feeling very real fearshould be respected. Your child needs some coping mechanisms, and thatmeans you need to address the fear rather than denying it.Putting Things in PerspectiveSchool can seem big and scary to a child. Psychologists recommend "puttingthe fear in its place" - identify the fear and give your child power over it. Givethe fear a name, such as the Worry Worm, to help your child know when itsthe anxiety talking, not reality.Tell your child that the Worry Worm says things that arent true (somethingbad will happen to me if I go to school), but your child can tell the WorryWorm to back off because he or she knows the truth (youre safe at school).For older kids and teens, you can identify the fear in a more age-appropriateway.
  3. 3. Know Your TeacherIt can make all the difference if your child knows their teacher. Try to set upmore than one meeting with the teacher before the school year starts, so yourchild will be going to see a familiar face. Take a tour or two of the school andthe new classroom, too.TherapyIts possible that your child may need therapy to help overcome his fear ofgoing back to school. Your childs teacher has probably seen this before, andmay have references for you. You could also ask your family doctor orpediatrician for a referral to a psychologists and/or therapist. If you choose togo the therapy route, its a good idea to start a month or more before schoolstarts, and perhaps continue the therapy during the year.Be ConfidentSometimes, parents can inadvertently "feed" their childs anxiety. If you areanxious about your childs anxiety, it can make the situation worse. Try to beconfident in your childs ability to make it through the school day. Whileunderstanding your childs feelings is important, inflating them is not. Letyour child know she can do it by being confident and decisive in leaving her.
  4. 4. Saying GoodbyeSome experts recommend a "goodbye ritual" to help ease transitions back intoschool. This can help a child feel more secure - if you say goodbye the sameway every day, then perhaps your child will be more confident that you willreturn the same way, too.Try coming up with something unique to your relationship with your child - aspecial handshake, phrase, or promise for later in the day (just make sure youfollow through on any promise).Brought to you by http://www.oldfashionedhomemaking.comOriginal Artwork by Cheryl Seslar DesignsPurchased at Dollar Graphics depot

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