Many young people can feel anxious about school for various reasons. This may be present throughout the entirety of the year, with many students feeling anxious daily. Most commonly, young people are effected by anxiety at the start of the school year.
What are the causes of back-to-school anxiety?
- Feeling pressure to get good results and grades
- The desire to make friends
- Social issues such as bullying or harassment
- Not getting on with teachers
- Feeling like they don’t ‘fit in’
- And many more!
Anxiety can affect a young person both mentally and physically and should be treated seriously.
Below are some ways that you can help your child with the back-to-school anxiety:
1. Ask your child what is worrying them. Being there for them emotionally, can help to relieve some burden as they will be able to talk through how they feel. Ensure you listen to them carefully and show that you can work with them to make things better. Of course, not every young person wants to talk to a parent or friend, however by starting this conversation, they know that you are there for them.
2. Create a plan together! A plan can relieve a lot of unknowns and reduces the number of things that a child has to think about. For example, on the night before the first school day, set out the uniform, make a packed lunch and put out your school shoes and bag. It’s a great way to ensure that you and your child are ready for the first day!
3. We also advice that if your child needs any additional support or requirements to be put in place, then you get in contact with the school as early as possible. This allows the school to have time to sort anything out and reduce problems. Maybe this involves speaking to the young person’s teacher or the head of their year! As you can tell, we really encourage you to plan, plan and plan! 😊
4. Next tip: encourage your child to start a journal or a ‘worry’ list. Maybe they don’t want to talk about their worries but writing it down can help to offload the thoughts. If you need a notebook, why not try this one – here. It is easier to write your thoughts and notes down when you have a notebook that you love! You can also now personalise a notebook to make it more special – check this one out here!
5. Young people of all ages can experience anxiety during this time of year. If the person experiencing the anxiety is younger, maybe you can try to visit the school beforehand. Taking them to school before their first day can reduce the unknowns! You could even see if the school building is open and show them where their classroom will be and what they will do on that first day.
6. These tips may be able to reduce some of a young person’s anxiety, however, for a lot of people, it may not. Counselling is something that should be considered if signs of anxiety do not reduce. Seeking advice in a professional, will allow the young person to offload to someone that doesn’t know their family and friends. Although it may seem scary, it can be highly effective. If the young persons school doesn’t have a counsellor, or they would prefer to see someone outside of school, they are many companies and private counselling that can help!
7. All of the above tips can help with the back-to-school anxiety. We also have some advice on what NOT to do. Do not brush away the young person’s fears and concerns. Never compare your child with other students who are not feeling anxious or seem happy as this will make them feel like they don’t fit in. Do not seem anxious and frustrated yourself (even if you may be) as this can make the process more difficult. The priority is ensuring that the child knows that you understand their concerns and you will help them reduce them!
We hope that this advice helps, and we wish everyone a successful back to school transition! Mental health is important and should be taken seriously, including young peoples concerns about the back to school period!