The return to school after a break can evoke mixed emotions for students of all ages. The anticipation of new classes, teachers, and routines can lead to a sense of anxiety. However, with the right strategies, you can help your child or teen in foster care navigate these emotions and start the school year with confidence. Here are four effective tips to help handle back-to-school anxiety:
- Plan Ahead: One major source of anxiety is the fear of the unknown. Ease your worries by getting organized before school starts. Create a schedule, set goals, and gather necessary supplies. If possible, visit the school and classroom with your youth beforehand. Initiate conversations with the appropriate staff on campus early on to establish a partnership in your child’s educational experience. Having a clear plan and a sense of familiarity can help everyone feel more at ease.
- Talk About It: Give your kiddo an opportunity to candidly share their feelings about school with you or a trusted adult. Opening up about anxieties can provide a sense of relief and allow you to offer informed support and advice. If your child’s anxiety becomes a concern, don’t hesitate to seek professional help. We offer behavioral health services to children aged 3 and up covered by Medicaid in Texas. For more information, visit www.ckbh.org
- Practice Relaxation Techniques: Encourage and model healthy relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, meditation, or stretching in your daily routine. Engaging in sports, exercise, or even a leisurely walk can help boost your mood and reduce anxiety levels. These practices can help reduce stress and promote a sense of calmness for the whole family.
- Expect the Best: A wise person once said, “Worrying is a waste of time.” Spend time with your youth in care visualizing positive outcomes. Encourage them to imagine themselves confidently navigating through classes, making good friends, and achieving their academic goals. Positive mental imagery can help reframe their perspective and build self-assurance.
Remember, anxiety about going back to school is completely normal. It’s a time of transition and change, and it’s okay to have mixed emotions. By implementing these tips, you can empower your children to manage their anxiety and approach the new school year with confidence. Embrace the opportunity to learn and grow as a family, and remember that with each challenge comes a chance for improvement.
Cupp, E. (2022, August 12). 5 Back to School Tips for 2022 [web log]. Retrieved August 7, 2023, from https://ckfamilyservices.org/5-back-to-school-tips-for-2022/.