The phase of going back to school after the summer or winter vacation is stressful for kids as well as parents. During vacations kids become so comfortable in their homes that they don’t want to leave their comfort zone. The transition of going back to school routine is challenging. However, parents can help kids through this phase of life and help them rejoin the school confidently.
In this article, we share some pro tips for reducing stress and spreading awareness about children's mental health.
Social anxiety is common in children; and in Pakistan it is a matter of debate. A research conducted by the University of Punjab on the “Prevalence of Social Anxiety among Elementary Grade Children” concluded that multiple causes, including biological, genetic and environmental factors, contribute to increased anxiety among kids. It is usual for some kids to be over-excited about returning to school, but you can not neglect kids who are traumatised by leaving their grandmother's house or after lockdown.
The following are some reasons that trigger back to school anxiety;
- It's a chance their friends bullied them.
- Kids are stressed from making new friends.
- They are worried about spending time away from their family.
- Most of the time, kids are frightened by the new teachers.
- Returning to routine and leaving their comfort is tough.
- It could be the parenting style that makes them nervous about going back to school.
Also Read: Tips on Dealing with Kids’ Bedtime Meltdowns
You can notice many mood swings in kids' behaviour, that’d exhibit they are experiencing stress. It's common for kids to be in a bad mood when they come back from school.
Here are some symptoms that identify your kid is dealing with anxiety;
- They were finding it hard to focus on anything.
- Kids are not sleeping well and have bad dreams at night.
- They look exhausted after coming back from school.
- Constantly tired and feeling lazy.
- Get angry too fast or out of control in seconds.
- Stomach aches and is always unwell.
Setting up the alarm again, attending classes, making friends, or joining a community, kids get nervous when they experience something new. But, nothing is impossible. We have mentioned some effective tips that would help to deal with kids’ back to school anxiety.
Let them speak about the problem, and hear stories from them. Make positive energy around them and show your presence. So they can speak about their issues with you.
Ask questions like;
- What is happening in school?
- How did their day go?
- Why do they feel stressed?
- What is wrong?
- Why do they not want to attend class?
While dealing with someone having anxiety, the only way out is to talk. You can assure your child that nothing is going wrong and they can share anything with you. Perhaps, they’d mention a bully or tell you a bad experience that would help you take them out of the situation.
It is a fact that many parents ignore the problems of their kids. Children need emotional support and all they get from their parents is a response that all will be good soon. That’s a big mistake parents make.
When your child comes to you and says something that’s bothering them, don't leave them alone. Listen to them, all they need is your support.
It would help if you tell kids that their school is opening soon so they get mentally prepared. You can take them shopping and get them their favourite bag and books. Also, try to make everything exciting. Help them prepare their bag, ready their notebooks and change the timetable according to school timing.
A positive atmosphere motivates kids to expect good in the future. To cope with kids’ back-to-school anxiety, engage them in educational activities at home and make up their mind about rejoining the school.
Also Read: The Importance of Kids' Playroom At Home
Playdates help kids socialize and teach kids about teamwork. If your child’s school is about to start, arrange a playdate and invite some kids over. The engagement, communication, and play simultaneously reduces a child’s fear and anxiety about new friends and environment.
Also Read: 5 STEM Activities Kids Can Do At Home
Coming out of our comfort zone is very difficult for all of us. After spending days in leisure, kids really feel depressed thinking about going back to school. However, parents can help their kids by just listening to their version of worry. Be their support and discuss the opportunities they’ll get after going to school.