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Seven tips for coping with back to school anxiety

Parenting - By Esther Muchene | November 21st 2020 at 09:42:16 GMT +0300
Accompany your child to school on the first day and spend a few minutes with them (Photo: Shutterstock)

Anxiety in kids is one of the most difficult things a parent has to deal with, especially when your child has to go back to school. To be very honest school is not the most favorite place for some of the kids. It’s hard for them to be able to make friends or join in school activities.

Having a child who suffers from back to school anxiety can be very tough and how you handle them determines how quick they get comfortable with school and even how they perform in school.

Sometimes not all kids are able to express their fears of getting back to school but you can still be able to tell by how their behavior changes a few days before. It’s important to talk to your child about their expectations on going back to school and also how they feel about it. This is one of the easiest ways to make them open up to you about school.

Below are some useful tips for coping with back to school anxiety.

  1. Deal with physical symptoms

Sometimes children experience physical symptoms of anxiety such as loss of appetite, stomach upsets, headaches, etc., often caused by nervousness. It’s important not to ignore them even if you know that they have been caused by anxiety. Consult your doctor on how to best treat these symptoms.

  1. Let their teacher know

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If your child has back to school anxiety, it is important to tell their teacher or caretaker. This will help them know how to handle the child and help ease the situation even in your absence.

  1. Listen to them

The main reason why most parents don’t know when their child has back to school anxiety is because they don’t take time to listen to the child. Listen to your child and encourage them to tell you how they feel about school. This way you might be able to know the reason for their anxiety.

Practice drop-offs to familiarise your child with the routine (Photo: Shutterstock)
  1. Be firm about going to school

Anxious kids may end up refusing to go back to school. It’s important for them to learn how to confront their fears. You can help them by visiting the school before they open, rehearsing drop-offs and spending a little time with them when they do resume their classes.

  1. Give them a reminder of your support

Sometimes allowing them to carry something small of sentimental value can be a great way to comfort them while they are in school. You can get a tiny doll and attach it to the zipper on their bag or give them a special pencil. A small note in their lunch box will go a long way too.

  1. Prepare them in advance

Start preparing them mentally for school two or one week in advance. Remind them to finish their assignments and projects as this can be a contributing factor to their anxiety. Ensure that you purchase everything they need before going back to school. You can get them to accompany you when you go shopping.

  1. Arrange playdates

If it’s possible, arrange playdates with kids who go to the same school. Help your child make friends. This will help them feel safe and comfortable when they go back to school and find their friends there.

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