By: Vishal Mehta, BPharm, RPh
Kids thrive when they feel safe and supported, but school can be stressful for kids of all ages, especially the first week. Although new teachers, different expectations, and undulating social environments can be a loot bag of anxiety, you can help them manage with these seven tips:
- Be calm. Kids often mirror emotions. If you are stressed, they will be too. To be the essence of calm, be well-prepared for school and follow a schedule.
- Talk to them about their angst. Naming the monster can make it less scary.
- Make sure they get enough exercise and sleep. Kids need a good balance of both to be successful.
- Teach them coping strategies like deep breathing and muscle relaxation.
- If their anxiety becomes overwhelming, seek help through your doctor. Mental health is too important to let slide.
- Top them up on nutrition. Kids need good quality food at home and in their lunchboxes to perform mentally and physically.
- Protect them. School vaccines protect your child and their friends too. Update your child’s required shots and ensure they abide by all sanitation protocols.
High-schoolers face additional challenges, including drug and alcohol abuse, sexual or gender pressures, and new driving privileges. The best approach is teaching them how to make good choices and understand the effects of peer pressure (eg., www.kidshealth.org).
Create a safe home base where your child can recharge and prepare for each day’s stresses and you are setting them up for success. For more information, contact Anxiety Canada.