Is your child nervous about getting back to school? Did they already start school and seem nervous, upset or anxious? Kids have a lot of worries, especially at the beginning of the school year. Anxiety Canada writes some of those concerns include questions like, “Will I fit in?” and “What if my new teacher is mean?”  

How can you help your child cope and learn to overcome their anxiety? Read on for some guidance. 


Know the Warning Signs of Stress 

Unlike adults, kids often won’t – or can’t – express their anxiety. It’s up to you to determine their feelings. Psychiatrist Dr. Shimi Kang has some advice on what to look for: 

  • Physical symptoms such as headaches, stomach aches or tiredness 
  • Behavioural issues including irritability, meltdowns, crying spells 
  • Distractibility and the inability to stay focused 

It’s important to note that these should be symptoms out of the norm. If your child has ADHD, for example, they may experience additional stress at the start of school, or this could just be the anxiety they often experience. Either way, the following tips may help you. 


Helping Your Child to Cope 

Now is the time to provide your kids with coping strategies to help them deal with anxiety and stress for any situation in their lives.  

  • Talk to Them About Challenges They Might Encounter 

      Kids at nearly any level of education will run into difficult moral situations. Be sure to talk with your children openly about the challenges they might face. For example, it’s important to discuss the dangers of addiction and how using substances is never the right answer for dealing with anxiety. 

  • Help Them to Focus on the Positive recommends you help your child focus on what they enjoy about school. Highlight positive school experiences from the past. You should also sit down with them to brainstorm ideas to make the back-to-school transition easier. 

  • Empower Them With Coping Skills 

      How will your child deal with a stressful situation? You can teach them to manage fears by training them to monitor their screen time and provide calming support for them. Learn more strategies from parenting expert Michele Borba to help your kids cope. 


How a Parent Can Help 

 As parents, we need to do a few things to help our kids. 

  1. Model calming behaviours.
    Kids are great imitators. If we’re upset, they’re upset. If we curse, scream, and yell, they will, too. The first step is to model calming behaviours in front of our children rather than high emotion. Meraki Lane suggests tips on how to be a calm parent.
  2. Stop overscheduling your child.
    This is one of seven tips provided by Psych Central. As parents, we can be so focused on our child’s potential success that we forget the importance of downtime. Look at your child’s schedule, and reduce activities so they have time to catch their breath every day – and do the same for yourself. Your child won’t understand the value of self-care if you don’t do it for yourself.
  3. Manage your own schedule.
    Make sure that you have a schedule that accommodates seven or more hours of sleep for each family member, and enough time in the morning to prevent a high-stress atmosphere. Prep at night or set your clock a little earlier to ease your morning routine.
  4. Focus on nutrition.
    If your child isn’t getting enough nutrition in their diet, now is the time to change that. Food and mood are strongly linked, so make sure to give your children enough nutrients to help them feel better. A balanced diet of healthy carbs, fats. protein, fruits, and veggies should provide a good amount, but a multivitamin ensures your child is getting enough vitamins to satisfy their nutritional needs. This supplement also strengthens your child’s immune system, and there are probiotic-multivitamin hybrids that can improve gut health.


Starting A New School 

 If your child is starting a new school, there are special steps you can take to help them. You can drive them in on their first day, tour the school in advance, and let them meet their teachers ahead of time. Learn more ways to help your child acclimate to a new school at Education Corner. 

 A new school year can be fraught with anxiety for kids. As parents, we can provide our children with the right tools to help them succeed.