How can I help my child with school anxiety?
- Ask your child what’s worrying them. Focus on listening and providing emotional support, and reassure them that you can work together to make things better. You can find our tips on starting a conversation with your child here.
- Acknowledge the worry. Tell your child that you understand their worry. Don’t feel that you need to tell them that there is nothing to be worried about but think with them about changes that could be made at school, at home or in their daily routine to help them feel less worried. What can be put in place to help?
- Monitor what your child is exposed to. The news is full of things that will understandably worry our children. Consider avoiding exposure to adult-intended news, information and conversations. It is great for children to be informed and there are plenty of child-friendly sources of news and information.
- Reach out to school as early as you can to avoid things building up. Use Dojo or phone school. Work with their class teacher, Miss Whitworth, Mrs Wheeler, Mr Williams and other key staff to improve the situation.
- Talk with your child about strategies that help them to express and manage their anxiety. This could be spending time with family, listening to music, reading, playing a sport, drawing, cooking or watching a favourite film.
- Plan a regular morning routine that can be followed each day – from getting up to having breakfast, getting dressed, leaving the house and arriving at school. This will help to create a sense of security. This could be further supported with a chart or a visual timetable https://www.twinkl.co.uk/resource/t-c-081-visual-timetable-for-home
- Consider using a worry journal if your child feels particularly anxious while they’re at school. They can carry this with them and write down a worry when it comes into their head, helping to keep anxious thoughts from becoming overwhelming. https://www.twinkl.co.uk/resource/t-tp-5137-all-about-me-worry-box-activity-pack
- Children might find it helpful to make a ‘worry box’. Decorate any kind of box such as a cereal or shoe box together, and designate a ‘worry time’ when your child will write down what they’re anxious about. Then post it into the box, close the lid and agree not to give it anymore worry time that day. If your child would find it helpful, you can also choose a time to talk through worries together https://theschoolcounselorkind.wordpress.com/2013/07/24/the-worry-box/
With Me in Mind We are very lucky to be linked with this wonderful support service that specialises in supporting families and with low moods, worry, anxiety, simple phobias, sleep problems, panic attacks, behavioural and emotional problems. Contact Miss Whitworth for more information or a consultation http://www.withmeinmind.co.uk/about/