September can be an incredibly anxious time for children. They may be worried about starting at a new school, making new friends, dealing with new teachers and doinghomework and exams once again. If your child is struggling with the idea of going back to school, here are some great ideas to help ease them in gently.
Remind them of what they’ve achieved
A great way to help ease your child’s anxiety is to talk about good things that have happened in the past. For example, you could remind them about how they were worried about going back to school last year but they were fine or you could bring up a situation in the summer where they made new friends or managed new situations.
Make going back to school fun
When you’re getting all the back to school supplies ready, try to make a fun activity out of personalising their equipment. Decorating pencil cases, covering note books, getting a new bag or shoes are all effective ways of easing kids back into the idea of returning to school.
Familiarise them with new environments
If your child is highly anxious about new environments and situations, it could be a good idea to get them accustomed to their school layout before the terms starts. See if they can meet their new teacher beforehand, take them to the school to have a look around and you can even research it online so they can see photos so they know what to expect.
If your child’s anxiety is making you feel anxious because you feel guilty about sending them to school or you’re worried about how they’ll cope, try to keep these feelings to yourself because it will only make the situation worse. Chances are that once they have got through their first week they will realise there was nothing to worry about in the first place.
If you think that you or someone you know could be suffering with anxiety, please feel free to visit our Depression and Anxiety Treatment Programmes page for more information about the signs, symptoms and treatments that are available.