Anxiety about work and school is a normal part of life. However, many children find that the symptoms of stress prevent them from participating in class or having a positive relationship with their education. If your kid is worried about going to school, try these steps to help them cope with their anxiety in a healthy and effective way.
Have Patience and Sympathy
School anxiety often crops up during difficult or transitionary periods in a child’s life. Whether your child is refusing to go to school or simply expressing strong feelings against it, it’s important to realize that their anxiety is real and may not be easy for them to set aside.
Before you engage with your child about their anxiety, take a moment to see things from their point of view. Your kid needs you to provide stability and compassion while they process their emotions and learn to handle real-world problems. Don’t expect overnight answers, and remember that your child’s health and happiness should always come first.
Start a Conversation
The best way to find out what’s going on with your child is to ask them. However, kids of all ages often lack the words or understanding needed to express their problems. Just like anyone else, your child needs time to process their anxiety; your job is to provide a safe platform where they can explore those feelings.
As you begin the conversation, avoid leading questions that might reinforce your child’s anxiety. Ask how they feel, but don’t attempt to classify or define their answers. With enough time and a strong enough sense of security, your child will eventually understand and overcome their fears.
Many children start to experience school anxiety when they feel overwhelmed by or disattached from their schoolwork. Whether they need help with their studies or can’t see the point, you can help the problem by engaging alongside them.
Let your kid help you plan school lunches, and consider taking them out for some fresh and trendy school supplies. Help them with their homework, even if that means completing one of your own projects while they study at the kitchen table. You should also consider making the morning commute something to look forward to; listen to good music, grab a donut or a warm beverage, and enjoy the time spent together before the day truly begins.
Maintain a Routine
Children aren’t equipped to deal with the full scope of life’s problems. As a parent, you can provide a stable foundation so they can work through their issues with school or other parts of their life.
Make sure you’re serving healthy meals at regular times, and consider adding a few light snacks to your child’s day. Encourage a healthy bedtime that gives your child enough rest while leaving room for both homework and playtime. Check to make sure homework assignments are getting submitted on time; if your child is struggling, pick up some of their chores so they can focus on their education.
Every child is different, and there’s no single solution that will solve your child’s anxiety about school. However, if you provide a loving, stable, and comfortable home environment, your child will have the tools they need to combat any problem they face.