Why Does Back-to-School Anxiety Happen?
Back-to-school anxiety is a form of anxiety that occurs in children both before and after the start of a new school year. The anxiety is usually focused on the financial, academic or social implications of attending a new school or returning to an old one.
The back-to-school season typically starts in late summer, with students going back to school in January or February. This timing leads to a psychological phenomenon where children anticipate their return to school with worry and apprehension. The feeling intensifies as the date of return draws nearer, leading many students to dread going back.
Back-to-school anxiety can last for months before and after the start of the new academic year, with symptoms including stomach aches, headaches, and difficulty sleeping.
What are the Most Common Types of School Anxiety?
There are many different types of school anxiety, but there are some common ones. One is social anxiety, where children get stressed out by the thought of making friends or being in social situations. Another type of back-to-school anxiety is performance anxiety, where children get worried about doing well on assignments or tests. While other children may get stressed out because they feel like their work isn’t good enough and they’re worried about not meeting the adults in their life expectations.
Preventing & Dealing with Back-To-School Anxiety
The end of summer can be an emotional time for children. They are about to go back to school and see their friends again after a long stay at home. However, some children are not prepared for this change in routine and it causes them stress. This is called back-to-school anxiety.
Many students experience this feeling of discomfort when they think about going to school, but there are ways to cope with it and prevent it from happening in the future.
There are many ways that parents can help their children prepare for the upcoming day at school so they don’t experience an increase in anxiety levels during the first week of school.
Some kids might need a little more help than others before heading back to class, so here’s some tips below on how parents can talk with their kids.
How Can Parents Help Their Child Cope with School Anxiety?
School-related anxiety can range from mild to serious, but it is important for parents to understand the types of anxiety their child may be experiencing. It is also important for children with anxiety disorders to learn coping mechanisms that they can use when they are feeling overwhelmed. Teach them to slow down to become calmer, and to set aside time to talk about their worries.
School-related anxiety can be considered as a broad term, which covers all different levels of severity. It’s important for parents to understand the types of anxiety their child may be experiencing.
There are various coping mechanisms for children with school-related anxiety disorders, and it is up to the individual child and their family members figure out what works best for them. This will depend on what type of school-related anxiety they are dealing with, how confident they feel about themselves, and what kind of support system they have in place.
You may find it useful to attend workshops and or access resources to help you understand how anxiety may be impacting your child. At Centre for Perinatal and Parenting Support Service, we have parenting workshops to help assist you in supporting your child’s needs, such as, the workshop Supporting Children with Anxiety.
Tips And Tricks For Parents And Teachers To Help Students Deal With Stress
We have all heard how stressful the world is nowadays. From the constant pressures of looking good to being “successful”, many students are feeling more pressure than they can handle.
There are many things that parents and teachers can do to help their students deal with stress. Some of these are as follows:
- It is important for parents to monitor what their children are doing at home and school and be mindful of how much screen time they have, make sure they follow a healthy diet, and remind them to get plenty of sleep.
- When Teachers take the time to talk to their pupils about what is happening in the news, it allows students to have safe discussions and creates an outlet for their stress. Another way to assist students managing overwhelm is engaging them in playing sport, spending time with a trusted adult (such as a mentor) and allow them personal space for contemplation.
The journey from worrying about school to enjoying it can be a big challenge for some kids, and once they begin school gradually that anxiety will lessen. Remember to:
- Project confidence to your kids
- Make returning to school a positive experience
- Be aware of their feelings
- Talk to your child and highlight past positive moments as reminders
- Practice morning routines
- Reach out to others if you need support.
If you’re looking for assistance in helping your child manage back-to-school anxiety, here at Women’s Health and Wellbeing Services, we support women and families through:
- Individual counselling
- Children’s counselling
- Teens counselling
- Perinatal counselling
- Relationship and Family counselling
- And much more
You can find out more about our services online or feel free to get in touch if you need assistance.