As a parent, you’re probably stressed out about the back to school season. There are so many changes and no two school districts are handling the reopening of schools the same way. Your school district may be offering a hybrid model of virtual and in-person classes, while the district next door is returning to full-time in-person classes, and then the next school district over is offering virtual learning full time.
Each no two school districts reopening in the same way, many parents are running around trying to figure out the best option for their kids. Since parents are stressing out, their kids are also feeling many strong emotions such as stress or anxiety.
Today we’re going to chat a bit about the signs to look for so that you can determine how anxious your kid is about returning to school and how to help offset this anxiety.
If your kid is showing signs of irritability such as being grumpy more often than not, they may be anxious about returning to school. Irritability in kids may appear to be defiance, yelling, or tantrums. These are all signs that something is bothering your kids so you’ll want to try to discuss emotions with them and see if they can open up about what’s making them act so out of the norm.
Routines Are Nonexistent
Your kids have had to adjust to so many changes over the course of six months, that they may seem scattered and unable to focus. Your kids may be having a difficult time falling asleep or waking up more frequently throughout the night. These are signs of anxiety and are caused by overthinking about all of the changes they’ve encouraged the last six months as they start to acclimate to the new norm of this back to school season.
Avoiding Typically Fun Activities
You may find that your kids are avoiding activities that they typically enjoyed. They may be reluctant to enjoy outdoor play, talking with friends, or playing games they otherwise would enjoy. This happens frequently with kids who are suffering from anxiety. Try not to be pushy about this situation with your kids, rather be creative with getting your kids engaged with activities they otherwise enjoyed so that they can start getting their minds redirected away from their anxious feelings.
When it comes to learning the signs that your kids are anxious about returning to school, it’s all a matter of keeping a close eye on unusual questions or behaviors that arrive with your kid. Do your best to be understanding and compassionate when trying to help your kids through their anxious thoughts.