Back-to-school anxiety, nerves, jitters, or whatever you want to call it, going back to school for kids can come with some pretty unpleasant feelings and worries about how the year will be and all the "what if" question that their heads are being flooded with. Now that it's that time again where summer fast coming to an end and the beginning of a new school year looming on the horizon, here are some ways to prevent, combat, and cope with those pesky nervous thoughts and shake of the end-of-summer blues.
Have the basics covered! This means making sure the basics like making sure they are well fed and rested before sending them off to school. These might seem like a no brainer but it can be a bit rough for a kid suffering from anxiety to keep up with these simple things. Their nerves will take away their appetite and making sleeping and turning of those worried thoughts off can be a challenge. To help them, enforce a regular, consistent, and healthy eating and sleeping schedule. Predictability can feel like stability and will lesson the amount of things they have to worry about.
Let them know that they are not alone! Feeling anxiety and worries are common and it most likely will make them feel better and not so isolated if they know that other kids go through the same thing and it is normal! If they don't feel like they are the strange one then they will be more likely to share their feelings and not let them get bottled up and making the anxiety worse.
Prepare them! Instead of just trying to calm them down and say they have nothing to worry about, give them something that they can work with. Let them ask you questions all their "what if" questions and situations and things that are making them nervous and help them solve the problem. You could even do role playing to help them feel prepared on how to deal with a situation if it arises and help them build up their confidence so that they feel like they can handle whatever happens.
Be Positive! Your kids often look to you and feed off of the vibe that you are giving off and mimic it. So be positive yourself and encourage them to focus on the good rather than the bad like you are going to do with your day! Opening their eyes and pointing out positive things about going back to school can get their minds of the bad points that anxiety makes them laser focused on. Behavioral patterns and habits for children first start to form by watching their parent's behavior.
Exercise! Lots of activity and exercise is a prefect natural way of relieving stress and anxiety because it releases endorphins which are the brain's feel-good neurotransmitters. It's science!
That last tip is one that we, Gymnastics Elite, have you covered on and can really help you out with as that is what we do! All of our programs are designed to get the kids up and moving so that they get a good workout while they just think they are having fun! We are very aware that exercise has a positive impact on them not just physically but also mentally and emotionally. We always try to be aware how our students are feeling and their moods so that we can try to help them so that they feel good outside aswell as inside the gym. We see this as just part of our role as being a partner in parenting!