As children head back-to-school, parents spend their time preparing and getting their homes, fridges, and closets ready for the school year ahead. Some children may mourn the end of their summer, while others may start to fear the school year ahead. While the anxiety of anticipation is normal, it can become too much if they are constantly worried, scared, or concerned about each and every school day. As experts in individual therapy in Orlando, we help many parents and children combat anxieties of everyday life, including school-related worries. These are a few ways that you can help your child overcome back-to-school anxiety.
Preparing for school requires back-to-school shopping, trips to the stores for supplies, and trips to the grocery store for lunch foods. By making your child a part of this process, you can walk with them each step of the way. They will be able to choose supplies and items that make them excited and eager to use new pencils, lunch boxes, and backpacks. When they help you, they may feel more comfortable once it comes time to head to school each morning.
When you discuss your child’s concerns and worries, you will be able to understand how they are feeling so you can give them what they need. Ask your child about their school day each day so you can assess what they need to feel better. By opening up this dialogue, you encourage them to open up about their feelings and not keep things to themselves. Also, you can then address their emotions one-by-one with strategies to overcome these anxieties.
It is easy for parents to reassure their children that everything will be fine, but that does not truly help them in a situation. Instead of reassuring them, give them advice on how to overcome certain situations. For example, you can tell them to sit with so-and-so at lunch or to talk to a teacher if they have difficulty with a math problem. When you understand their worries, you can teach them ways to cope through those difficult moments of their day.
Modeling confidence is another great way to prepare your child for success at school. If they see you being anxious or sad that they are headed back to school, they may feel those same emotions. Instead, model confidence to show that you are excited and proud of them for each day they spend at school. Talk to them about papers as you check their school folders each night and help them with their homework. When you participate in their school life and show your happiness, they may start to feel the same emotions.
By taking these steps, you can help to ease your child’s mind as they walk back into their schools each morning. If you are concerned about how to help your child with their anxieties, talk to our experts in individual therapy in Orlando to hear more strategies. Contact Orlando Thrive Therapy to learn more about our counseling services today.
Heather Oller is a licensed Orlando therapist at Orlando Thrive Therapy, Coaching & Counseling who specializes in counseling Orlando couples, individuals, and families who are seeking changes in their lives. She has been a mental health professional for over 17 years and is a practicing Orlando counselor that specializes in conflict resolution for couples. You can contact her for an appointment or call 407-592-8997 for more information.