The end of summer also means it’s time to go back to school, which, as one would expect, can make children equally happy and anxious. Though you can’t completely remove the source of their anxiety, you can give them the tools to deal with it and ultimately silence it for good.
Anxiety can manifest as sleep problems, stomach ache, loss of appetite, or even in the way they express themselves about school: negative vocabulary, phobias, a vague pessimism about the coming months. The worst you can do is avoid or put down these fears – that would only strenghen them. When you acknowledge that it’s only normal for such a change to cause them anxiety, you’re helping your childunderstand that whatever they’re feeling is legitimate and the only way to beat it is to approach it with bravery. It’s a mentality that dominates the Yoga for Happy Kids classes, where children learn to not blame themselves for whatever it is they’re feeling, but also acquire the tools to deal with it and process it.
A few tips for these difficult first few months:
– Make sure their sleeping schedule is in order, so that waking up early for school is naturally added in their day.
– Take care of their diet, adapting it for school hours and making sure it’s full of nutritious foods, which can help them tackle their challenging schedule.
– Include the children in all preparations: take them with you when you go out shopping, let them pick their new school bags and supplies.
– Talk openly about school, so that they can talk openly in return.
– Take a walk to school as a family one afternoon, so that the way there is associated with a feeling of security and fun.
– Pack their bag together the night before, so that it feels like a celebration, and less as a boring task.
– Make sure you go to the first day of school, or any other day, with the family of a friend of your child, so that you all have company.
– Inform your child’s teacher about their anxiety problems.
– Reward your child for their brave behaviour and show them you acknowledge their efforts.