Back-to-School Anxiety: 4 Tips From a Psychotherapist to Help Kids Cope by Dr. Kathryn Smerling
Back-to-school season has arrived, and this year marks the first since COVID where we’re starting out looking at a full year ahead. And while this sense of normalcy has been somewhat restored, anxiety is still running high.
The kids are so anxious – we’re seeing it due to COVID, safety concerns, changes in curriculum and expected academic jitters and more. Although this year is beginning on a less disruptive note than the previous two, worries are still swirling for parents and kids.
Here's some guidance for parents on how to navigate these feelings and ways for children to cope with back-to-school jitters:
- Kids need to have tools to be able to cope with this stress – this will also empower them and allow them to control their anxieties. Examples of tools can be teaching kids to calm their anxiety through breathing exercises, meditation or visualization.
- Another technique to try is having your child carry a transitional or comfort object into school and hold onto it – a rock, a pen, an object they can carry with them.
- Make sure children know who their resources at school are and who they can talk to – who their support system at school is.
- Parents must also let their children know they can speak to them about their anxieties and be transparent – parents can then see what is worrying their kids and determine if seeking professional help may be a good option.
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