If you have school-aged children, they are right in the middle of a nice holiday break. You might be a bit jealous that your boss doesn’t give you two weeks off during the holidays. It is two weeks of bliss for your kids with no strict bedtimes, no early morning alarms and no homework.
But it won’t last forever and before they know it, they are back to early bedtimes, early rises and long days learning math, arithmetic and spelling.
Most kids don’t have a huge problem with getting in back-to-school mode, they may whine a little about it but that’s it. However, some children will have a difficult time with the adjustment. And this back-to-school stress can start right in the middle of their holiday vacation.
For some children, the stress and uncertainty they feel can be overwhelming. If it is not properly addressed, it can manifest into physical symptoms including fatigue, stomachaches and headaches.
In some cases, you might be professional help, but there are steps you can take to ease your child’s anxiety. Kid Scholars Academy, your preschool in Sugar Land, offers tips for helping children cope with back-to-school anxiety.
Focus on the Positive
It is easy for children to have their usually cheery outlook clouded by negative thoughts. It is your job to redirect their thoughts and fears to the positive aspects of school. This will help them from dwelling too much on the negative. Remind your children how tough and resilient they are and how they are able to overcome adversity. Positive thinking can reduce stress.
One of the best ways to combat stress is to stay healthy. This means you need to ensure your children are getting plenty of sleep, proper nutrition and plenty of exercise. Sleep deprivation will only make the stress worse, so it is important that you put them to bed at a decent time.
Remember to enforce healthy eating habits, start then off with a healthy breakfast each morning. And ensure that they are getting enough exercise, preferably outside. Exercise has been proven to help reduce stress and anxiety.
Have Reasonable Expectations
While any concerned parent knows that grades are important, don’t let your high expectations lead to your child’s stress. Instead of focusing too much on grades, emphasize that school is important in many other ways. You should also point out that learning isn’t always about grades.
For example, homework is important, as is making friends and having fun learning new things.
Listen to Your Child
You need to open up your ears and listen to your children. If your child is experiencing back-to-school anxiety, it could be for a number of reasons.
For example, your child might be bothered by a bully or perhaps there is an issue with a teacher. You can address these specific problems after you realize what they are. This is why it is important to have a talk with your child and listen to what they have to say.
Keep a Schedule
The holiday break is pretty relaxed and you have let your children stay up late, sleep in and watch too much television. That might be a mistake.
If you have a child who is suffering from back-to-school anxiety, keep them on a strict schedule. This doesn’t have to be earlier bedtimes, but it does need to be consistent bedtimes.
It helps to have regular family meals at consistent times. Kids benefit from set schedules and are less likely to freak out having to go back to school and that rigid environment.
Ditch the Sugar
Studies suggest that sugar and processed foods greatly impact behavior in children. They also increase anxiety chemicals in the brain. Guide your children away from the Christmas candy and have them eat an apple instead.
Limit Screen Time
Studies suggest that limiting screen time will greatly improve your child’s mental health and mood. Instead of watching television or playing video games, play a board game or have your children read.
Too much screen time has been linked to all sorts of problems including irregular sleep, behavioral problems and obesity.
These tips are beneficial to both the stressed-out child and the parents.
For information about enrollment, please contact Kid Scholars Academy.