How to prepare for the anxiety of going back to school
It seems like summer goes by faster and faster each year. While some kids may be excited for a new school year, many teens and children feel anxious about getting back into school. Whether it’s nervousness over a new schedule or troubles getting a good start to the day, if your kids are anxious about the upcoming school year, there are a few steps that may help calm their fears.
Start Adjusting Schedules Early
One of the toughest parts of a new school year can be getting used to a busy schedule. Summers tend to be laid back for teens and kids, so getting back into the classroom for eight hours a day can be a challenge. To keep your kids on track, try creating a similar schedule for them throughout the summer. Make sure kids and teens wake up at the same time they do during the school year. Set up some daytime activities, whether it’s summer camp or trips to a museum, to keep them busy throughout the day. Keeping kids and teens busy doing fun, educational activities can also prevent them from spending too much time staring at screens.
Create Sleep Sanctuaries in Their Bedrooms
A successful school year starts with getting enough sleep. Adults in America are chronically sleep-deprived, and kids often are not getting adequate sleep either. Depending on the ages of your children, current sleep guidelines may suggest anywhere from eight and 13 hours of sleep each night. Developing bodies and brains need this rest to improve cognitive and physical processes. If your child has had issues sleeping over the summer, it may be time to take a look at their bedroom and their mattress. The typical lifespan of a mattress is around seven to 10 years (though you should really start paying attention to how it feels after five years), so if your child’s mattress is older, it may be time to look for a replacement. Finding a quality mattress can help your child get the rest they need to tackle a new school year.
Rework Their Morning Routine
Mornings also help set the tone for your kids’ school days. To ensure it is a positive one, work on creating a morning routine that will reduce stress for your family. Morning meditation and yoga can be helpful for children and adults who are prone to anxiety. Once everyone is up and ready to go, fill them up with a nutritious breakfast to help them stay focused on their schoolwork. You can prep overnight oats the night before or whip up some smoothies to keep your family healthy in the mornings.
Go Shopping for Fun, Functional Supplies
To get nervous kids excited about school, try taking them out to pick out some new school supplies. Think about getting them their own tablet or laptop. Having their own laptop or tablet will get them excited about doing homework and completing research online. Plus, you will be saving yourself the stress of letting them use yours. For younger children, you can even find devices that hold up to spills and drops. For kids of any age, make sure they stay safe while using the internet and avoid letting them use their screens at bedtime.
Create a Homework Space
Having their own laptop will help your kids get their homework done, but they also need a quiet spot to focus on their work. Spend some time setting up a dedicated study space before summer break is over. You can use a corner of their room, a spare bedroom, or even a closet to create a little workspace to help them get their school work done at home. Make sure the spot you choose is free from distractions, such as electronics and windows, and get some furniture that will keep kids comfy while they study.
As summer comes to an end, help your kids get over any anxiety they have about starting a new school year. A little organization, planning, and positivity can go a long way in calming their fears and encouraging them to achieve success in the coming school year. So help set the tone for their days and set the tone for a great year in school.
Guest post by Denise Long
Tags: anxiety, anxiety tips, anxious, anxious child, anxious kids, anxious teens, children with anxiety, Cleveland, Crossroads, Crossroads of Lake County, health, kids, lake county, mental health, Ohio, school year, sleep, study, teens