Back to school anxiety is real. Let’s talk nerves and how we can help our kids.
We are doing all BACK TO SCHOOL things imaginable this week before we our first day, next week. The kids’ bed times have slowly been regressing to around 9, the typical time they start their shut eye on school days.
Kids and School Anxiety
We’ve been back to school shopping, organizing and cleaning. Because this mama needs a clean house and order to help her process. (This clean house thing does NOT last!)
Just when I thought everyone was good and ready to start their new school year – a conversation with a kid smacked me in the face.
It quickly became apparent that while I was doing all the things to make sure he is was ready to go to school physically, I hadn’t even thought about the kid’s mental state. Back to school anxiety. How did I overlook this?
5 Tips to Help With Back to School Anxiety
Sometimes you get so into your day-to-day, it’s easy to forget about the unseen. Here is how we are helping our kids with back to school anxiety.
1. Talk Thru Concerns
Our first tip for dealing with back to school anxiety is communication. Talk thru your child’s concerns with your kids.
Positive affirmations do help, keep it up beat and optimistic. Chances are that your child’s anxieties are minor and they may not even realize that they are anxious about school.
There are so many un-necessary things that kids worry about. It’s so easy to forget about how stressful school was.
To a child, it’s like us starting a new job. There are new people, a new manager, new routines. While they maybe similar to our last job, their new school year will be different than the last.
Know how much sleep is required of your child. I know there are charts that will say your child needs this much sleep and yes, they do require sleep BUT each child is different. Learn how much sleep they need and do what you can to make sure that their sleep is quality and as much as they need.
3. Text Messages and Notes
Our next back to school anxiety tip, is communicating with your child but not via talk but thru other means. For example, my child and I do text messages thru-out the day. With one of our kids, we have a point rating so that they can tell us how their day is going. Before lunch, we get a msg that says 1-10.
Our goal is 6. If the kid forgets, I make sure to text them and ask how their day is going. It’s simple but keeps everyone on check to help gauge the temperature of their anxiety.
Funny memes are also a good way to speak your kids language.
4. Check In Conversations
One of our dinner time routines is high-and-low. Tell me your high for the day (the best part of your day) and tell me your low (the worse thing that happened.) We have 4 kids, so sometimes we have to have a separate conversation if something comes up that is out that the whole family doesn’t need to discuss.
Regardless of age, we tuck our kids in. This is another check in time.
5. Prayer or Positive Thoughts
Our last back to school anxiety tip is prayer and positive thoughts. I pray, understandably you may not pray – totally fine with that. I didn’t start this blog to convert you to a prayer but for me – it’s a foundational thing in my life.
Pray for the good and pray for the bad, pray for things you are thankful for and unthankful for. Pray for your kids, their school, teachers and administration.
Talking to a School Counselor
If there are any clues or hints to continued back to school anxiety, do address these with the school counselors. Over the years, the school counselors have become amazing counter-parts in a myriad of situations. Use them, they are a resource, that is their job – they really do just want to help!
Best Anxiety Books for Kids
Sometimes a good story can help explain to a child a situation, such as anxiety.
If you are looking for an anxiety book for kids, here are several suggestions that may help when communicating with your kid.
I Can Handle It
With mindful mantras, this kids anxiety book by Laurie Wright helps to let your kids know they can handle what they are going thru and manage their back to school anxiety.
It Will Be Okay
The kids anxiety book by Lisa TerKeurst titled, It Will Be Okay helps children turn to God and trust him through fear and change.
What to Do When You Worry Too Much: A Kid’s Guide to Overcoming Anxiety
If your child is a worrier, this book is a kid’s guide to helping them overcome worry and anxiety.
Please Explain Anxiety to Me
For the anxious child who likes to know specifically why things are happening to them, this anxiety book is a great option.
Please Explain Anxiety to Me breaks down the biology while creating solutions and is a great resource for both kids and parents.
I Have Squirrels in My Belly
For the younger child who is anxious, I Have Squirrels in My Belly is an illustrated anxiety children’s book to help view anxiety through a child’s view.
Something we have thrived on is constant communication. Establish the relationship with your child where they can talk to you about anything and everything. We have a big job being a parent. Forming a solid relationship with your kid will help when any of these hiccups like school anxiety come up.
EXHALE. Give yourself some grace. It’s a lot. It’s ALL A LOT. You’ve got this and so does your kid.
If you have tips to help with back to school anxiety, leave them in the comments. I know there are other parents who are in the same boat and the more we can share what we go thru and how we deal with things helps other parents decide the best course of action in their parenting journey.
- Headed back to school? Check out our FREE First Day of School Signs.