School is going into full swing and while kids can have anxiety leading up to going to school on the first day you might see some once school is in full swing. Here are a few things that might help you work through these moments with your kids.
Understanding and validating are two important things for any parent. Now there is a fine line between reassuring and validating how they feel. Reassuring goes along the lines of “You are fine “or “There is nothing to worry about”. Understanding and validating how they are feeling will help them process. Instead, try saying things like “I can see you are worried about going to school today.” or “New things can be scary at first.” Validating and understanding will help your child feel they are being heard and that you understand what they are saying.
Teaching your child to find their calm as we call it in our house can take some time. We have found some great breathing exercises can bring us back down from an anxious moment. My one child likes the close your eyes and let it go dark or let the sun shine in then take three deep slow breathes. Sometimes we even practice this when we aren’t in the moment, so we know how to use it when we need it. There are many apps out there that can help you with this.
Another thing that children can find useful are stories about what they may experience at school. These stories help them see what they may experience while they are at school. There are books from the library that you can take out and there are books called social stories that can be tailored to your child’s needs.
Be the positive for your child. You can’t take away their anxiety, but you can help them see the situation in a different light. You can do this in how you talk to them about school. Ask them how writing was today instead of did they get all 3 sentences or paragraphs written. Let them know that they are managing and making it through. They got that first sentence on the paper, so they are on their way to getting to that goal.
Anxiety is just as hard on parents as it is on children. Taking your time and staying calm will help bring calmness. If you are concerned about the level of anxiety your child is having contact us. I hope this blog gives you a few new ideas.
By Kim Nolder