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How To Help Your Child Beat School Anxiety

by Angela
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Anxiety over school can happen to any child, at any age. It may present itself differently from child to child so it can be difficult to distinguish. Your child may express feelings of fear or worry about school or your child may say nothing at all.

In some children it can present itself physically with children feeling nauseous or having meltdowns. If your child is really struggling, they may even refuse to attend school all together. If you’re going through this with your child, here are some tips that could help.

Keep Lines of Communication Open
No matter what age your child is, it’s important to talk about feelings and worries. Your child should know that they are free to express what they’re feeling without getting a negative reaction from you. Avoid dismissing your child’s feelings and be willing to sit and listen.

Many childhood fears are irrational so they can come across as non-important to adults but to children these feelings are very real and often a big part of their lives. Talk about everything with your child so uncomfortable topics are no longer uncomfortable.

Worry Journal
Your child may find it easier to write about how they’re feeling instead of talking about it. This is a great way for both of you to understand the type of anxiety being felt by your child. As a parent, it can help you to identify your child’s triggers and work to avoid them.

For your child, it’s a good way to put fears and worries into perspective. Putting them down on paper can help your child to see that these worries aren’t as big as they first seemed. Take a look at care.com for some inspiration on helping your child break down these worries.

Learn About Anxiety
Most people experience periods of anxiety throughout their lifetime so teaching children about anxiety is a great way to give them some control. For young children, teaching them about their thoughts is a good place to start. Not every thought that enters their head will become a reality.

For older children, it helps for them to understand that anxiety happens in three parts. First comes the worrying thought, then they may experience physical symptoms, and then they need to make a choice with what to with them. This helps your child to realize that facing fear and going to school can help to break the cycle of anxiety.

Relaxation Techniques
There’s no denying that there’s a strong link between anxious thoughts and physical symptoms. Adopting relaxation techniques can help to calm physical symptoms which also tackles anxious thoughts. How your child relaxes will be a personal preference.

For instance, some younger children may enjoy using sensory toys to relax while older children may relax with a warm bath. Make sure your child gets plenty of opportunity to relax when they come home from school.

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