BACK TO SCHOOL TIPS

To Help With Anxiety

September time is like a New Year, A New beginning, a fresh start,  as the leaves fall off the trees. It’s one of the busiest times for parents, children, and young people. All pulling and pushing together to get back into the school routines, and the daily structures again. And with that comes exhaustion for the whole family.
 
What we do not always see and hear about at the school gate is the resistance that our child might be feeling and experiencing against change. The change being going back to school. The not wanting to go. They might have worries, or not be confident how to make friends for example. And how that plays out in the family could be in a tantrum. Whether that is at the school gate, or before going to bed, or after school. It is all sides of the one coin.

 

Our top 6 tips to Help with Anxiety. 

 

1. Make Back To School a Celebration 

Bring your child food shopping. Select a few new items for lunch. Make a tasting menu. And have some fun.

You could really get creative and design a t-shirt to celebrate back to school. 

You could have  a countdown to the weekend. 

 

 

2. Discuss your favourite memories from School 

Discuss your favourite memories from school. Let your child see that you were once their age too. You might discover that you have a lot in common. 

You might discuss your first day at school. How you felt. What your school was like. 

And your favourite teacher. And how you still remember her/him.

 

3. Listen to your child’s worries

Sometimes it isn’t when you are asking all the questions that you might get the answers to what is on your child’s mind. Sometimes, it can happen in the quieter moments. Like before bed that they might start talking. Or while they are colouring. Or play pretending you might see what is happening in your child’s life. Even if your mind is racing. And you are worried about what you are hearing. And you are panicked make sure to just listen. Let them know they are heard and understood. And that everything is okay. If you do not listen. You risk them staying silent next time. They need to know they can talk to you about anything. 

A child needs to know that they are heard and understood. And we need to listen so that we hear what is going on in their lives. Or what worries they might have. 

Ask lots of questions. But remember that your child might not yet have the language and the words to express themselves. So think about maybe Instead of asking. “how was your day?”, maybe try “what made you smile today?”. And once the questions are asked by you be prepared to listen.  

 

4. Let someone know

If you have worries about what you are hearing from your child. Or you you have concern about behaviours being displayed. Let someone know. It might be the school teacher, another parent. Chances are someone is going through the same. Or has already been through it. 

 

 

5. Get enough sleep

They say “Cash is King” but I reckon sleep is King. The world is a better place for everyone when we get enough sleep. 

Getting a bedtime routine in place is key. Even when the child is shouting that they are not tired. Stick with it because it will pay off. All children need a lot of sleep because they are growing. 

A cookie and milk can work as a signifier that P.J time is next. They need to know what is happening next. And by giving them visuals and signifiers this leads to less stressful moments. And more sleep. 

Happy child + Happy Moma = Happy Family 

 

6. Breathing Exercises

Get into the habit of showing your child how to take a breather. Whether they are angry, worried or feeling overwhelmed a very simple breathing exercise can ground them. One that I use frequently is: Breath in and count to 4 and breath out for count of 8. 

For children when doing the above exercise. Use characters and themes they enjoy playing with or making up. Such as the wolf, or the the big dragon breathing out fire for a count of 8. Use favourite colours for your child to visualise. This is an easy one to start with. And it works immediately. And what I mean by that is that it will calm the mind and body of whatever was happening previously. 

This can work well as a quick moment where they can have a time out, a rest. The more you do this with your child. Your child will develop their own technique to regulate their emotions. 

 

If you want to find out more on how Drama and Play can help with Anxiety and worry get in touch

To find out more: 

https://playact.ie/