About Mental Health
How Parents Can Help Kids Cope With School Stress
A new school year should bring lots of excitement and fun for your child. Unfortunately, the new school year can also bring fear, anxiety, and even depression. Changes to routine, new environments and academic challenges can all cause children to suffer from school-related anxiety and stress.
But parents can help their children combat this anxiety and depression by helping their children establish good mental health practices. Following these tips can help kids have a safe, healthy, and fun school year!
A consistent, regimented schedule helps to provide structure. Early bedtimes will make for a more restful night’s sleep.
Electronic Free Communication
Set aside time to talk to your child without electronics distracting the conversation. Discuss concerns about the school year and what they are looking forward to.
Set clear social media expectations such as open accounts and facilitate conversation surrounding what your child is seeing on social media and how it makes them feel.
Foster Positive Relationships
Many youth worry about friendships or loneliness. Encourage them to reconnect with a friend before school starts and make plans to sit with each other on the first day back.
For many, a lot of stress comes from completing homework. Create a plan to complete assignments on time and incorporate homework help into your family’s daily schedule. Check in with teachers regularly to be sure your child is staying on task.
Be sure to encourage your child to stay healthy by washing hands, eating nutritious foods, and getting lots of sleep. Plan meals and snacks ahead of time so you are not tempted to grab the quick and unhealthy options.
If your child has fear of starting a new school year be sure to validate those fears by acknowledging that starting something new can be hard but will become easier each day. Attend back-to-school orientations and allow your child to get comfortable in the new setting.
Many times students feel that they cannot mess up or fail. Discuss that failing is part of life, mistakes are bound to happen, and that together you will move forward and learn from this mistake.
Create an environment where your kids feel they can bring up thoughts or feelings with which they struggle. The more comfortable they feel bringing up smaller things then the more comfortable they will be to bring up bigger things as they get older.
Back to school can be stressful for everyone in the family. Make sure to have fun and do things that are enjoyable for everyone. Practice taking turns to pick a family activity in the evening or on weekends.
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