Even though the start of the school year is usually a fun time, in the Covid universe everything has been flipped upside down. As schools start to reopen for in-person learning, many of us are now having to send children back to school for the first (or second, or third) time this academic year. When remote learning finishes and traditional schooling starts, it’s common for young children and teenagers to experience worry.
Separation anxiety may affect young children, while social anxiety may affect middle school and high school adolescents who have spent time away from their friends and classmates. In order to safeguard pupils from COVID-19, many schools are also altering their standard operating procedures and processes, which adds to worry.
Students and parents may become stressed out due to the current situation’s ambiguity and concern. Here’s how to support your child’s mental health when they return to school while also assisting them in managing their anxieties.
Back-to-School Anxiety Telltale Signs
Many kids will suffer various symptoms, and young kids and teenagers communicate anxiety in different ways. While some kids may weep or throw fits, others may experience the physical signs of anxiousness, such as headaches or heartaches.
Be alert for changes in your child’s behavior because you know them best. Typical signs of anxiousness include:
- agitation, exhaustion, and/or sleep issues. such as sleeplessness or nightmares.
- sobbing, sadness, dread, and/or bad thoughts.
- physical signs such as nausea, stiffness in the muscles, and lightheadedness.
- Fear strikes.
- decrease in appetite.
- excessive anxiety, great fear, or discomfort regarding going back to school.
- refusal to resume your education.
Disorders of Anxiety in Children
If your child’s anxiety symptoms persist after the first few days of school, this can be a sign of an anxiety disorder. Your youngster may display frightened or agitated behaviors, refuse to engage in routine activities or remain silent.
The clinical definition of a manic episode requires symptoms to linger for the bulk of the day, practically every day for at least a week. Hypomanic episodes might only last for four days. Reach out to the spravato clinic near me if it is present and schedule a consultation.
Anxious kids and teenagers may have a hard time expressing their emotions. Shortness of breath, a racing heart, migraines, stomachaches, or palpitations are just a few signs that can indicate worry.
Children who experience anxiety problems frequently include:
- OCD, or obsessive-compulsive disorder.
- (Social phobia) Social anxiety disorder.
- Disorder of separation anxiety.
- panic illness.
- Disorder of generalized anxiety (GAD).
- certain phobias.
If anxiety disorders are not addressed, their symptoms can persist into adulthood and have an impact on individuals’ mental health, capacity to do their jobs, and daily functioning. An underlying medical issue may occasionally be indicated by the symptoms of anxiety. Therefore, it’s crucial to consult with your doctor to rule out any medical concerns.
Fortunately, there are many different ways to manage anxiety problems. Psychotherapy, such as exposure therapy or cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), is frequently the first step in treating anxiety disorders, however, medication may also be used.
An authorized psychologist is able to identify anxiety problems. Your doctor will speak with you and your child, get information about their anxiety symptoms and medical background, and make a diagnosis. Then, parents and psychologists can collaborate to create the ideal treatment plan for children.
Supporting the Mental Health of Your Child
An occasional anxiety attack is a typical response to starting school again. You might need to get assistance if your child consistently calls home from school complaining that they need to return home or if they refuse to go to school (school refusal).
Here are some helpful tactics parents may employ to assist kids with back-to-school anxiety and help them get ready for school.
Inform your youngster that being anxious about starting school again is normal. Establish a regular time to speak with your child where you can give them your whole attention, such as before bed or during supper, before school starts, and during the first few weeks of school.
You may aid in lowering your child’s anxiety levels by encouraging them to follow a healthy lifestyle, take their medications as directed, and eat balanced food.
We urge you to make an appointment with a qualified child or adolescent psychologist if your kid’s anxiety is affecting their ability to function, their relationships, or their academic achievement. Psychotherapy can help your child learn healthy coping mechanisms to deal with emotions of fear and apprehension even if they don’t have a diagnosable mental disease.
To ensure a smooth start to the new school year, it’s crucial to support your child through back-to-school anxiety. Children may find it difficult to start a new school year or move up a grade owing to routine changes, expectations, and the need to adjust to a new learning environment.
Encourage your youngster to discuss their thoughts and worries about starting school again. Pay close attention, acknowledge their feelings, and extend empathy. Tell them about your own back-to-school experiences and let them know it’s okay to be frightened or apprehensive.
Reintroduce a regimen gradually before the start of the school year. Make sure your youngster follows a regular daily schedule, gets enough sleep, and consumes healthy meals.
A week or two before the start of the school year, change their sleep routine to accommodate their early wake-up and bedtimes. To get help with your depression, schedule a meeting with a spravato provider.
If at all feasible, visit the new classroom or take a tour of the school before the new academic year starts. Anxiety can be lowered by familiarity. If it’s okay, meet with the teachers and staff to help your youngster feel at ease.
Keep in mind that every child is different, so what suits one child may not suit another. Pay attention to the unique requirements of your child and adjust your support as necessary. The secret is to foster an environment that is encouraging and nurturing so that kids can develop self-assurance and resilience as they face the challenges of a new school year.