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Back to School Anxiety

Is your child having a hard time adjusting to the new school year? Maybe this is their first year of preschool or school, or they have an extended school day or after school care.

Going back to school can cause anxiety for both children and their parents. There may be tearful goodbyes, tantrums, somatic complaints like belly aches or headaches, or sleep issues.

Here are few tips to help with those tearful goodbyes.

  • Develop a structured morning and nighttime routine. Children need extra rest and predictability in their routine

  • Create a goodbye ritual (hugs, high five, special handshake) leave a special note or sticker of encouragement.

  • Validate and normalize their feelings and this new experience. Encourage and remind them it will get better.

  • Teach relaxation skills (deep breaths, positive self-talk).

  • Be mindful about your own anxiety & worries. Try to avoid projecting your own anxieties and feelings on to your children. Try not to linger to long when saying goodbye. Let them know when you will return.

Changes in your child’s behaviors during times of adjustments can be normal. Here are a few signs that your child may need help and can benefit from therapy.

  1. Your child has problems in multiple areas of life (academic performance, social skills, friendships, leisure activities, family).

  2. You child is experiencing excessive worry.

  3. Changes in sleep or appetite

  4. Complains of headaches and or stomachaches

If you see these problems persist, reach out to a mental health professional for help. Prayers for a happy school year.


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