Posts Tagged ‘school anxiety’

Ease back to school anxiety

August 23rd, 2012

As a parent or professional you can’t help but hear these words everywhere you turn- It’s back to school time. It’s everywhere, from the ads with dancing kids in their new school clothes to the reminders to pick up school supplies. If you’re a child who likes learning or likes going to school, then it’s an exciting time of year. For other children who struggle with academics, worry about “mean kids”, or easily get overwhelmed and stressed, it can be a very difficult time of the year.

There are so many feelings associated with this time of the year: excitement (about seeing friends) worry, (will the new teacher be “nice”), fear (will I have to sit next to the boy who picks on me again this year), dread (I heard that you get lots of hard homework in 4th grade, what if I can’t do it).

So if your child starts to change their behaviors as they head back to school, realize they may have a difficult time expressing their worry, anxiety excitement, and fear.

Here are 3 creative ways you can help your child positively express their back to school anxiety:

  1. Get artistic with the worries: Recycle an old book or get a blank journal to make an art journal. Use magazines and make a collage cover for the book. Cut out words and images of all the back to school worries, everything from anxiety about “mean kids” to worries about where you’ll sit during lunch time. Glue the images or use decoupage (or cover with clear contact paper). Acknowledge your child’s feelings. Now flip the book over and on the back cover. On the back cover use magazines and words of all the positive exciting things about going back to school, such as seeing friends, art class, recess, etc. Again glue the images or cover with decoupage or clear contact paper. Use this book throughout the year to write down or draw feelings and thoughts. For stressful thoughts and worries flip to the front cover and start filling in the book, for positive thoughts and good things, flip to the back cover and fill in the pages. (It’ s two books in one). If you are using a recycled book with words, paint over the pages with acrylic paint or use artist gesso and add images and words to the painted pages.
  2. Get playful with the worries: Create dioramas of school. Do you remember dioramas? They are miniature models. Use a shoebox, or cardboard box and create a small version of a school or classroom. Furnish it with mini chairs, desks, teacher and students made from modeling clay or other modeling materials. Your child can play out their feelings in this miniature world.
  3. Get expressive with the worries: Do you have a kid who loves to perform? Channel that creative energy into creating a back to school TV show. Use your video camera and film your child play-acting the teacher and/or students. Use props or costumes and have your child come up with a few characters to solve a problem they encounter. This can be reflective of a real life situation, or they can use their imagination.

Need some more tools in your toolbox to help your kids with back to school worries & stress? Join us next week for the International Parents & Professionals Community Members Only Call “Raising Confident Children Through Mediation” with Guest Expert Heather Chauvin. Learn more here

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Back to school worry and anxiety? These 5 creative strategies can help!

September 1st, 2011

Maybe your child is heading back to school and they are worried about being in a classroom with kids they don’t know, or they are starting school for the first time, going to a new school, or just plain worried about heading back to school. Here are five creative ways to help your child head back to school with less stress and worry:

1. Use a composition notebook and encourage your child to write or draw out all their worries. Then flip the pages and ask your child to create all the thing they are excited about.

2. Create a mini school out of paper or cardboard and create students out of modeling clay or play-doh. Allow your child to play out their worries without censoring their actions.

3. Play teacher and student. Have your child play teacher and you can be the student and allow your child to teach you something. Your child will feel empowered by expressing what they think their school experience might be like.

4. For older children, ask them to create images about all the things they are nervous or worried about and add them to a worry box. Decorate the outside of the worry box of images and words that make them feel confident and empowered.

5. Create a video of what your child expects from their school year. Allow them to shoot and edit a video (or music video) of their school experiences and what they want from the school year.

Need some more support to help your child be successful? Schedule a complimentary Support Consultation by clicking here!

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Going to a new school? These creative tips can help your child

August 17th, 2011

Do you have a child going to a new school? Are you worried about your child starting at a new school and you want to provide them some additional support? Here are some creative ideas to help your child be successful at their new school.

Go to the school with your child and visit the classroom and meet the teacher prior to school starting. Let your child get acquainted with the building and meet the principal, office staff, and nurse. Your child is likely to feel more comfortable asking for help is her/she has met the staff prior to the start of school.

If your child is taking the bus or is doing parent pick-up find out the location and visit the site where they will be dropped off and picked up. Allow your child some time to explore the school grounds. Pack a lunch and visit the playground and allow some time to play and get acclimated. You can even bring a camera to take pictures of their new classroom, teacher, staff and playground.

After the visit you can ask your child what was the best part of the visit and what they may be worried about. Make sure you listen without trying to problem solve. At home ask your child to make some pictures about their favorite things at their new school and post the images in a place where your child can see it on a daily basis. You can also print out the pictures your child took and create a scrapbook or album with images of their new school. The day before school starts pick out a new outfit to wear and talk about what they are looking forward to and revisit the images they made and the pictures they took.

If you child is worried or anxious about meeting new people or going new places they may need additional support. We teach children creative ways to manage their worries so they can be successful and confident. Want to learn more? Click here to schedule your complimentary child support consultation.

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