Another new school year is upon us. Although a new year is often an exciting time for families, school can be a very stressful time of year for both parents and children. Here are some tips to help.
Coping strategies for children who experience school anxiety (test, social, refusal):
- Parents should show excitement and interest while being supportive and encouraging to their children.
- Younger children may benefit from talking about the schedule and what to expect. Taking children to school to get used to where things are may also help.
- Let children know its normal to feel a little nervous before a big change.
- Start getting your children on a school sleep schedule.
- Older children may adapt better to the start of school if they are involved in some extracurricular activities. For example, some sports programs for older children start sooner.
- Professional counseling from a qualified mental health specialist can treat anxiety that doesn’t resolve with the above steps.
Coping strategies for children who experience bullying:
- Be supportive and encouraging and let your child know that it is not their fault.
- Ask your child what they think should be done and what they have already tried.
- Speak to your child’s teacher or guidance counselor and ask them to monitor common areas where bullying occurs, such as the playground, lunchroom, etc.
- Don’t encourage the child to fight back but be prepared to assertively insist the bully leave them alone.
- Encourage your child to engage in activities with friends and extracurricular activities that can reduce your child’s sense of being alone
- Exercise has been shown to reduce the effects of bullying. Help your child engage in a period of exercise daily. Better yet, join your child in an exercise activity on a daily basis!
- Professional counseling from a qualified mental health specialist can reduce the impact of bullying.