Easing Back to School Anxiety

During the final weeks of summer, many children begin to feel anxious about going back to school. They may talk openly with their parents about how they feel, or they may complain of sleeplessness, headaches, or tummy aches.

One simple, but effective, strategy for helping your child manage his or her anxiety about school is to create a list of the specific sources of worry.

For example, does he worry about finding his way to his new classes? Is she concerned about managing the heavier workload? Does the worry involve peers? List every stressor, even the smallest ones, and then rank them on a scale of one to ten. There mere process of labeling and organizing the worries starts the process of decreasing your child’s anxiety.

Next, go through the list and determine which items have easy solutions. For example, if he is anxious about finding his way to his new classes, take him to school before it starts and walk through his schedule. There’s one worry to cross of the list! Not ever item has an easy fix, however, but cross off the ones you can, and try to talk through some of the other items.

A little bit of anxiety is expected, but if your child is struggling and you are unable to help him decrease his discomfort, please contact Georgetown Psychology Associates to obtain professional help. We provide one-on-one consultations for children who are having difficulty with anxieties. This service can be provided in the office or via telephone or SKYPE for families living outside the Washington D.C. area.