While adults generally are most anxious about things like money, finance, living situations - kids are most concerned with fitting in and friendships. Back to school and the stress of new classes, new kids, new teachers, being judged are heightened at this time.
Here are a few things parents can do to ease this back to school anxiety for their kids.
LISTEN to their fears. It’s easy to dismiss kids’ friendship fears because as adults we don’t have that same stress, however we need to remember for kids it’s a REALLY big deal.
SUPPORT Talk to other parents about the process if it is new for you too - new neighbourhood, or town. You are a team, reminder your child that you have their back.
Be a ROLE MODEL, show your child how you get through difficult situations that have caused you anxiety.
REHEARSE Walk through the process together - Anxiety is caused by past or future events. Walking through back to school first day together in advance can help kids feel supported and to expect to be successful.
Here are some things kids can do!
Make a list of all of the good things that can happen, and focus on those. The possibilities are endless.
Talking and Writing (expressing) to a caring adult or friend what is on their mind.
Reconnect with friends before back to school. Knowing someone in the school even if they aren’t in the same class is always helpful.
Get involved with physical activities, being active and having friends in other groups outside of school can help ease mental health in a HUGE way