The start of a new school year has arrived. The first few weeks of school can often be daunting not just for kids, but for us parents too. As a team of mums ourselves, we know all too well that over the coming weeks, some of our kids will start to experience some “back to school anxiety” They may be getting used to a new class, have a new teacher, or be new to school altogether. This week we want to discuss ways in which you can help tackle those back to school nerves.
Sometimes when kids are feeling anxious, they stop talking and start exhibiting unusual behaviour. They may begin to regress, have tantrums, or become upset quickly. They may also become very quiet and insular. This is totally normal as it’s tough for them to articulate how anxiety is making them feel. Often they won’t understand it themselves. During this time, it will help to try and encourage communication through stories, role-play and games.
There are some fantastic books available that can encourage them to think about their worries and talk about them. We highly recommend The huge bag of worries, Wilma Jean the worry machine and Hey warrior. For a list of useful books, click here.
Or why not try our Jelly bean talking game? They can eat a sweet once they have answered the question! For the downloadable the jelly bean talking game here – Pink Teal Flower KWL Chart Worksheet
POSITIVE FOOD AND SLEEP ROUTINES
Does anyone else find that regardless of anxiety, their kids get super angry and emotional when they are tired or hungry? We certainly do! Make sure that your kids are getting plenty of food before and after school. Eating will give them brainpower and keep their blood sugars steady, avoiding any dips. It’s also essential that kids get enough sleep. We all know that we worry more when we are tired! Make after schools all about replenishing with food and getting ready to wind down for some quiet time and bed.
FOCUS ON THE POSITIVES
Our kids are bound to have a host of different worries over the coming weeks, and many of them will be genuinely daunting for them. Have a think about your child’s concerns and try and find a positive to each scenario. Passing on a “you can do it” attitude to nervous kids can really help them to feel secure and confident. Below we have made an “I can” sheet, which may help to make your child think about the positives during times of self-doubt.
To dowload the worksheet click here – Colorful International Writing Prompt Worksheet
It’s SUPER hard but try as best you can to take things easy in the mornings. When the mornings are rushed, it can make kids feel anxious, and it can make them tired before they have started. Getting clothes and bags ready the night before can help make the morning that bit more relaxed. Well, we can try at least!
When our kids become anxious, it can rub off on us. We know how hard it is to hold it together when you have to leave your child crying or upset. Where possible, try as hard as you can to show your child that you care deeply, but you have complete confidence in their ability to move past this challenging stage. Then when the kids are in bed crack open that bottle of wine and have a good cry yourself!
My Gator Watch can be a great way to help your child feel connected when they say goodbye to you at the school gates. My Gator watch is a wearable mobile phone designed especially for 5-12-year-olds. It uses GPS, two-way calling, works across multiple networks and has an SOS feature for peace of mind. It does not have a messaging feature, and you, the parent; determine all numbers that are pre-set within the phone.
For more information and prices, please click here.
We hope that these ideas help anyone that is going through this difficult stage. We would love to know how you deal with back to school anxiety? Join the conversation in the comments below or via our Facebook, Instagram and Twitter pages.