Help Your Kids Stress Less for School
The most common mental health disorder in children today is anxiety, especially when faced with school. When school is back in session, children are faced with alot of emotional, social, and educational challenges that they don’t have to worry about during the summer break. Going back to school, or starting, is not always a peaceful time for a child who will often think of the may ‘what if’s’ that a new school year may present. Thoughts such as ‘will my friends be in my class’, or ‘will I know anybody in my class’, ‘where will I sit at lunch, and with who’, ‘will that bully be back’, are examples. A new school year can trigger, or worsen, anxiety and stress. It is important to parents to help their child ease into the school year and feel confident and comfortable. Do not dismiss your child’s feelings of anxiety, or worse get angry, or belittle them for feeling stressed. What they are feeling is perfectly normal. The beginning of the school year is usually the most difficult time for a child’s anxiety and usually after a couple of weeks things fall into the normal relaxed routine. However if more than a few weeks have passed and your child still has anxiety, or it has gotten worse, a counseling professional who deals in pediatric anxiety disorders may be able to help with the situation.
The following suggestions are for parents to help their child with the back to school anxiety, or stress;
Excercise isn’t just good for the body, it can also help get rid of nervous energy. Additional activity will reduce anxiety levels, which will also help the body reach a state conductive to falling asleep.
Steer your child away from sugar to decrease stress levels. Research suggests that white sugar and white flour-based foods can increase anxiety chemicals in the brain. Switch it for healthy snacks such as fruit and yogurt, and nuts.
While it is still warm to go outside, having fun in the sun serves as a natural elixir to anxiety. When outdoors in the sun, children tend to be more relaxed instead of worrying about the stresses of school. Natural vitamin D from the sun is overall very healthy for the body.
Sleep is so important to your childs well being, and is essential if your child suffers with anxiety. Having proper sleeping habits is very important as it allows the body to be healthy which is beneficial to the heart and mind. Having enough sleep gives the body and mind the strength for overcome the challenges of the next day. If your child is having trouble getting to sleep, a warm bath or shower in the evening will help to promote relaxation, and help the body fall into a deep sleep.
Structure, plans, organization, predictability, and order are great ways to reduce anxiety in a children. Having a family calendar complete with school activities, important celebrations, vacations, practices, in a common location allows children to look foreward to things which will help ease anxiety. Keep it updated and cross off the days.
It is not natural for children to go from the freedom of doing what they wanted in the summer to a very structured and social schedule when school begins. Designated 30 to 60 minutes a day for your child to decompress with some alone time to read, watch TV, or play on their own.
When a child feels anxious, their sensitivity is heightened, especially to touch. For school outfits, soft tagless items will help your child feel more comfortable.
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