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Managing back to school anxiety: A guide for parents

Back to school anxiety is a real thing. For some children, the start of a new school year can be a time of great excitement. For others, it can be a time of anxiety and stress. They may be worried about making new friends, doing well in their classes, or fitting in. There are a few things that you can do to help your child if they are feeling anxious about going back to school.

Talk it out.

First, talk to your child about their worries. Listen to what they have to say and offer reassurance. It's normal for children to worry from time to time. If your child comes to you with their worries, take the time to listen to them and offer reassurance. Let them know that you're there for them and that you'll help them through whatever they're worried about. Help them to come up with a plan to address their worries, and provide support and encouragement along the way. With your help, most likely, your child will be able to overcome their worries and feel more confident and secure.

Keep a routine and be organized.

Parents can help their child to prepare for the new school year by helping them to pack their school suppliesCreate a routine. A set routine will help your child feel more in control and less anxious. Make sure to include time for homework, relaxation, and fun.

Encourage healthy habits.

Eating right, getting enough sleep, and exercising can all help reduce stress and anxiety. The National Sleep Foundation recommends that kids aged 6-13 get 10-11 hours of sleep per night, and kids aged 14-18 get 8-10 hours of sleep per night.

Teach your child breathing exercises.

There are many different ways to teach children breathing tools to use. Deep breathing is a simple but effective way to calm the nervous system. Help your child practice slow, deep breathing whenever they start to feel anxious. Taking slow, deep breaths in and out can help to calm the body and mind. Kids can close their eyes and imagine themselves in a peaceful place. Belly breathing is another technique that can help kids calm down and feel more relaxed. To belly breathe, kids should place one hand on their belly and inhale through their nose, allowing their stomach to expand. They should then exhale through their mouth, pushing their stomach back in. Sometimes placing an object such as a stuffed animal on their bellies can help them learn how to properly breath using their bellies.

Finally, remind your child that you are always there for them and that you will support them through anything. If you think that your child’s anxiety is severe, you may want to consult with a mental health professional. They can help to provide additional support and resources. Be there for them: Let your child know that you understand and support them. Just being there to listen and offer reassurance can make a big difference!

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