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  • Kara Kohnen, LMFT

Back to School: decreasing anxiety tips!

The summer always flies by! As we begin to think about going back to school again, here are some great tips to help prepare your child for next school year.

1. Have a discussion about going back to school with your child.

a) Brainstorm some ideas which will make it fun including: packing special snacks, new school supplies and if they would like take a school tour or walk them to class.

b) Ask them what they enjoy about school and remind them of good memories from previous years and reminders of how fun and rewarding school can be

c) Ask if there is anything worrying them about school this year. For example, anxious about keeping up with classmates getting along with teachers, making friends, bullies and then help find specific solutions

Other helpful tips:

Project confidence - you believing in your child helps them believe in themselves

Practice routines in advance - before school starts just bed times and waking times

Plan extra time to get out the door - in case of tantrums or need to slow down and discuss feelings

Get organized - makes all school supplies are ready, take a school tour and get class schedule in advance when possible

Give choices - empower children to be able to pick out clothes and what to eat for breakfast as well as picking out colors of school supplies

Reach out to other parents, peers and school counselors for support - set up get togethers outside of school, talk to parents about back to school struggles and seek support from school counselors

It is normal to have a small amount of anxiety going into a new school year. Here are a few other key considerations:

1. Has anything recently occurred which could be impacting your child's behavior? (losses, illness in family or conflict with a peer for examples)

2. Are they getting enough sleep and eating well?

3. Are other transitions a struggle or other difficulties being apart or separating?

If you have followed all of these tips, but still have concerns, pleaser consider seeking professional support and getting them a mental health counselor to help with your concerns.

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