While many parents are happy to see their children return to school, the school-agers have mixed emotions. Some are excited to be going back, others are sad to see their summer end, while some children experience varying levels of anxiety about their first day of school.
Many unknowns can add to a student’s stress of returning to the classroom: a new school, teacher, classmates, routines, and schedules are just some of the issues children worry about. Other student concerns include fear of missing the bus, fear of fitting in, looking stupid or awkward in front of their peers, their clothing, understanding the course material, doing their homework, getting good grades, and who or how they are going to spend their lunch or spare times.
If your child has a lot of school related anxiety, there are steps you can take to help them cope with the new year.
1. Talk to your Child
Children need someone to talk to about their fears. By opening the lines of communication, you can allow them to voice their concerns. If your child has a hard time talking to you, try to find someone that they can talk to.
Talk to the teacher, guidance counselor, or other staff so they can also be involved in your youngster’s adjustment.
2. Tour the School Beforehand
Visit the school before the first day to help eliminate the fear of the unknown. By seeing the inside of the building, their classroom, desk, and hallways, it will help your children feel more comfortable about their first day. If their teacher is available, meet with them so the child can have time to meet their educator before classes start and all students are present.
3. Eat Healthy
Fueling the body with vital nutrients not only improves our physical health, but is essential for mental health as well. Studies have shown that there is a direct relationship between sugar consumption, depression and anxiety in children. Natural, nutrient dense foods will help improve their mental health.
4. Exercise Daily
Like healthy eating, regular exercise is also important in improving overall health. Physical activity increases endorphin production and reduces stress levels. Children should be physically active for at least 60 minutes per day.
5. Stay on the Positive Side
Maintaining a positive attitude will help improve your children’s outlook on each issue they face. There are also many positive events to look forward to when going back to school. By redirecting your child’s thinking, they can focus on the good parts of returning to class rather than their fears.
6. Visit Your Chiropractor
Stress and anxiety can have numerous negative effects on the body and, more specifically, the spinal column. A chiropractic doctor will realign and back to help promote optimal health. When the spine is straight, the nervous system can work properly, sending full signals to the tissues and organs.
7. Do Not Ignore the Negative Emotions
Children who feel emotional about school or other events should never be ignored, nor should their feelings. By acknowledging their stress, you can talk through their issues and help them develop effective coping skills to help adapt to new situations. If the anxiety is severe, your youngster might require outside intervention to help them understand and work through their emotions.
Returning to school can be very stressful for some children. If your child suffers from back-to-school anxiety, you can help them work through their animosity so the new grade is a positive experience. At Stephen Nutt Chiropractic, we help students of all ages stay healthy so they can handle any situation positively.