For some students, it’s the need to get good grades. For others, it’s the homework. There’s also the pressure to be cool and fit in. Whatever the reasons, a school can be overwhelming for teenagers and even younger children with many feeling physically ill as a result of the stress. That’s worrying for any parent, especially if their child suffers from anxiety. With the first day of class on its way, it’s time to take some measures so your youngster can thrive throughout the academic year rather than fret.
Confront the Issue
Your child may not be able to recognize anxiety and instead think there’s something wrong with them, says AnxietyBC, a Canadian organization dedicated to providing information about anxiety-related disorders. That’s why it’s important to teach your child about anxiety while encouraging them to open up about their worries. You can and should use examples from real life when you or your child felt anxious about something.
Find Ways to Cope
There are many methods to deal with anxiety, which is essentially a “fight or flight” response run wild, according to a writer with the psychology website Hey Sigmund. Some, such as mindfulness meditation, requires regular practice to achieve resilience during stressful situations. Others such as taking a few deep breaths or listening to music provide immediate relief when something is bothering them.
Develop Healthy Habits
A balanced diet and regular exercise also reduce anxiety. The first step is to work on a meal plan together that includes fresh vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains in recipes your child will enjoy. Encourage them to get out of the house and exercise for an hour or two a few times each week, and hopefully, this will become a habit before September rolls around. Despite eating healthy, your child may still lack some nutrients, such as protein and calcium. You can make sure they’re getting the nutrition they need, along with boosting their immune system, by giving them a multivitamin each day.
Create a Morning Routine
Make sure your child has their outfit laid out for the next day before their head hits the pillow. That way they won’t waste time looking for a pair of socks when they should be heading out the door. Other things to prepare the night before including lunches and backpacks. Your child will be much less stressed out if they leave for school at a leisurely pace.
Do the Same for Bedtime
Many children and teenagers don’t get enough rest, and that’s often the reason they’re cranky, stressed, or both. Nip this problem in the bud but creating a regular bedtime routine that will send them off to dreamland without spending the whole night tossing and turning. Evening showers, a healthy snack, and a calming bedroom environment should do the trick.
Get Them a Laptop
Teens need more than a few pens, pencils and notebooks to succeed in their studies these days. Laptops give them an edge by providing easy access to information for writing papers and completing homework more quickly and with less stress. Take a look at this listing of the best kid-friendly laptops on the market.
Set Up a System
Chaos causes stress, so make sure your child is organized before they bring home their first assignment. Get them in the habit of writing everything they need to, including chores, onto a “to do” list, then crossing off items as they go. Work should also be ordered from most important to least, filed in the correct place at their desk or placed in their bag so it’s ready to go the next day.
Ease Into the Year
The first weeks aren’t the most difficult, which gives you some time to fine-tune. Remember not to put any pressure on your child and ask them if they need help with their homework. Giving them enough breaks in between assignments ensures they have the energy to continue, while some light music provides some motivation.
Understanding, preparation, and organization will see your child through the most stressful moments of the school year while keeping it exciting rather than overwhelming. Without all the worry, they’ll be able to get good grades, make friends, and even have some fun.
Guest Post by Joyce Wilson
Image via Pexels.