Addressing anxiety as kids head back to school
Some children are already cracking the books and starting homework.
But a majority of kids will head into the classroom again after Labor Day.
Many are excited about this time of year. But others may be feeling stressed out or anxious.
Sigurd Haller, a psychotherapist at Amberwing, told us the first big thing to do as parents and caretakers is validate and acknowledge that with change, comes challenges.
“Then, put together a little plan. What are some things that might pop up, and how are you going to feel if that happens? What can you do to use your skills to approach that,” he explained.
If you’re heading into a new school, or to school for the first time, he has some other tips. “Maybe have a buddy to go with you. Seek out a welcoming adult. Practice saying hi and introducing yourself,” he said.
Plus it might mean calming techniques like wearing a favorite backpack, favorite outfit, or squeezing a stress ball.
Make sure everyone is getting enough sleep, Haller said.
Some families may still be wearing masks, and it’s good to address that as a family about carrying that forward.
Also, when you’re asking them about their day, make sure you put your phone down and really listen, Haller added. “It’s ok to let them know you don’t have all the answers, and you’re in this together, and you’ll figure it out.”
And if your child is having anxiety and depression where you might want professional help, call their primary doctor or Amberwing. https://amberwing.org/