The first day of summer is the BEST day of the year for many students, but the last day, and even those leading up to it, are the WORST for everyone affected by School Anxiety. Anxiety is a natural reaction to very real stresses. What you and your child are experiencing is very real, difficult, common and can wreak havoc on the entire family. Billions of people are affected by anxiety every day, in fact, 100% of humans go through anxiety severe enough during their lifetime to be clinically diagnosed as having Anxiety Disorder. Learning to manage it at the onset is the key to keeping it at bay.
Trouble sleeping, eating, concentrating, headaches, stomach upset, etc. These initial complaints may be more common around your house these days as the first day and weeks of school approach. For some students though, the level of fear may be overwhelming, therefore interfering with day-to-day activities, at this point it is time to talk to someone.
Students returning to school need to be able to concentrate and feel safe, however the idea of the unknown school year with a new environment, pressures of performing well or social issues can be too much. It is so important to give them the security, support and tools to self-manage both at home and when they are on their own during the day. I can help when the basic techniques such as telling them to calm down, breathe, get enough sleep and eat right are not even scratching the surface.
As a parent of three (ages 13, 17 and 20) and an elementary school teacher, I have repeatedly experienced both sides of this for the past 24 years. Talking to kids about their thoughts, ideas and feelings is critical to understanding their very individual fears because everyone processes fear differently and everyone has their own way of coping. Students of all ages need to be heard, understood and given comforting tools that will benefit their specific needs to successfully manage anxiety before it reaches clinical levels. Please, listen to their concerns, know they are real and find someone you trust to help them learn strategies now. Your child’s precious school years can be just that~ Precious!