Back-to-School anxiety: Ways to help your child cope - Deepstash

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Why children get back-to-school anxiety

Why children get back-to-school anxiety

Every year, most students have a few nerves about going back to school. This is normal with the change in routine and unknowns of what a new school year will bring. School may also bring unique worries and pressures that cause anxiety, such as:

  • The need to fit in socially and make friends
  • Fears of bullying or peer pressure
  • Academic pressure to make good grades
  • Athletic pressure (to make the team or to perform well on the field)
  • Life changes, like entering a new school
  • Anxiety about security and safety at school.

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Anxiety about going back to school during a pandemic

While the pandemic is no longer a "new" thing, highly contagious variants continue to cause its spread.

  • Students may worry about their health or a loved one's.
  • They may also worry about potential interruptions to their school year or extracurricular activities. The stress of the past few years may continue to affect students as well.

It's important to validate any concerns your child has by checking in with them frequently. Encouraging children to focus on what they can control is a good way to manage anxiety, too.

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Signs a child is feeling anxious about school

Signs a child is feeling anxious about school

Children show anxiety in different ways. If you're concerned your child is feeling anxious about school, be on the lookout for changes in your child's behavior and mood.

  • Signs of anxiety can include:
  • Disturbances in sleep
  • Increased defiance or irritability
  • Lack of concentration
  • Less energy
  • Loss of appetite
  • Physical symptoms like nausea, stomach aches, muscle tension or dizziness
  • Refusal to go to school
  • Sadness or crying.

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Tips to help manage your child's back-to-school anxiety

  • Pay attention to your child's feelings and listen to their concerns.
  • Explain to your child what you know about what the school year or classroom will look like to help them mentally prepare.
  • Show children how to behave and how to feel about themselves, even in the midst of anxiety.
  • Establish routines. Being consistent with bedtime, mealtime, playtime, screen time and expressions of love can create a sense of stability.
  • Coach your child through relaxation exercises.
  • Show encouragement and celebrate the wins.
  • Seek mental health support if needed. Pay attention to signs of anxiety.

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He who has health has hope; and he who has hope has everything.

Going back to school can bring excitement for some kids, and for others, some anticipation and worry.

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