Now that school is well underway, some children may remain anxious about school even after the initial adjustment period to the new school year. Anxiety can manifest in so many different ways in children. For some, they may not want to go to school in the morning, or may resist getting on the bus or out of the car. Some may cry, yell, and have more extreme behaviors than usual. Others may tune-out and internalize their anxiety with difficulty focusing. Many get sick to their stomachs. These symptoms can be so challenging for parents when all avenues for positive change seem to be exhausted. There is hope for change though. Enlisting the help of your child's teacher, school counselor and in some cases administrator can create extra support and structure while your child is at school. Having a solid line of communication with your child's teacher and school counselor allows them to create a more warm and caring environment for your child, with extra communication back to parents as to how the day went and if there were any trigger points for the child that can be problem-solved by the teacher/counselor and a parent.
At home, striving to maintain routine and structure can help create more security for an anxious child. Letting him or her know what to expect from day to day, with a wall calendar that has clearly-written events, rules and expectations helps a child know what's coming up in their world. Teaching them to utilize coping skills such as relaxation techniques, engaging in a creative activity or athletic activity can help them learn life-long skills to manage difficult feelings.
As hard as it can be, remaining calm when your child is anxious helps them calm down more easily and can help them move past their anxiety. Working on relaxation techniques together, sharing what's helped you as a parent move through anxiety, joining in a fun activity together and focusing on a child's strengths are all great ways to help an anxious child from day to day. When children get love and compassionate support with their anxiety struggles at home and at school, it sets up a path for them to grow and gain more confidence in themselves.