As we begin the new school year, children once again experience the opportunity to adjust to significant changes in their environment, relationships and expectations. But here’s a secret: everyone, and I mean everyone, is returning to school with some form of anxiety!
Some kids are better at hiding their worries than others, but on the inside they are struggling with worries of their own such as:
- What if I don’t like my classes or teachers?
- What if none of my friends are in my classes?
- What if I don’t get along with my friends like I did last year?
- I’m starting a new school and don’t know anyone; what if I don’t fit in?
- Studying is hard for me. What if my grades aren’t good?
- I was bullied in the past. What if it happens again?
- What if I don’t make the team this year?
Here’s another secret—adults experience many of these same fears!
It is perfectly normal to have anxiety, and you will experience some level of it throughout your life. The important thing is to develop skills that can help you cope with anxiety so that it doesn’t prevent you from enjoying your life.
The best thing you can do is talk to a parent or trusted adult about your worries. They were kids once—believe it or not!—and they just might understand.
When you find your anxiety revving up, take a moment to step back from the fear, take a few deep breaths and remind yourself that you have the strength to get through it.
Remember that everyone around you is struggling with their own anxiety. Sometimes just knowing we’re not alone helps give us strength.
Some people find that exercise is a great help, while others get relief through meditation or prayer.
Most importantly, try to keep a positive outlook. Try focusing more on the things you are looking forward to rather than fixating on what might go wrong.
PARENTS: Den of Zen
As we begin the new school year, children once again experience the opportunity to adjust to significant changes in their environment, relationships and expectations.
They may be at a new school or at their previous school in rooms full of students they don’t know. Their teacher is almost certainly different this year, and their friends may have grown and changed in the last few months. One of the few things that has not changed, however, is the mixture of excitement, dread and anticipation of what is to come that greets them every August.
As parents, one of our best tools we can use to help our children out during this time is ourselves.
While school-invoked anxieties assail our children, helping them to learn how to develop skills for larger, adult-provoked anxieties of the future, we can take the time to listen to them. We can ask questions about their experiences and offer words of support so they know they have a safe place should challenges feel overwhelming in the moment. We can let them struggle and learn to become greater versions of themselves through their mastery of their anxiety. We can pick them up should they fall, dust them off, and let them find their way towards becoming the wonderful, interdependent adults reaching potential we never even knew they had. What a wonderful time of year!
For more information on Cathexis, call directly at 520-329-1250.
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