Back-to-school is an exciting time, but it can be a difficult one, too. Dealing with new routines, an increase in activities and different social situations can be hard for both kids and parents. These tips can help make back-to-school a joyful time for you and your child.
Look After the Basics
Nobody copes well when they are tired or hungry. Anxious children often forget to eat, don’t feel hungry, and don’t get enough sleep. Provide frequent and nutritious snacks for your child. Also, build in regular routines such as morning and bedtime habits and eating schedules so that life is more predictable for your child.
Encourage Your Child to Share His or Her Fears
Ask your child what is making him/her worried. Tell your child that it is normal to have concerns. Set up a regular time and place for you and your child talk. It may be right before bed, during mealtime, driving in the car, or taking a walk. This is a good habit to practice all year round!
Avoid Giving Reassurance. Instead, Problem-Solve and Plan!
Children often seek reassurance that bad things won’t happen in order to reduce their worry. Do not assure them with “Don’t worry!” or “Everything will be fine!” Instead, encourage your child to think of ways to solve his/her own problem. You will be giving your child the tools he/ she needs to cope with an unexpected situation that might arise. Acting out a certain situation with your child can help him/her make a plan, and to feel more confident that he/she will be able to handle the situation.
Focus on the Positive!
Encourage your child to re-direct attention away from the worries and toward the positives. For example, “What are three things that you are most excited about at school today?” Chances are that the fun aspects are simply getting overlooked by repetitive worries.
Pay Attention to Your Own Behaviour
Children take cues from their parents, so the more confidence and comfort you can model, the more your child will understand there is no reason to be afraid.
Get Support When You Need It
Sometimes a little bit of extra support can be just what you or your child needs to help them thrive. Is your child dealing with anxiety? Worry Warriors can help them discover healthy ways to deal with stress. Connect can help you understand what your teen or pre-teen needs from you as a parent. Act Out offers a fun and safe environment for teens to discuss difficult issues like bullying, violence, racism and homophobia. We’ve got a wide variety of fall groups that can help you improve relationships with your family and yourself during this busy time of year.