The Children’s Home Society of Florida (CHS) is offering tips and warning signs to help parents and caregivers recognize signs of back-to-school anxiety and help children find the support they need.
What You Need To Know
- Children’s Home Society of Florida is offering tips to help parents and caregivers recognize signs of back-to-school anxiety
- Anxiety reports from students nearly double when school starts after summer break, according to CHS
- Adult support and understanding can help children, especially those with existing mental health and behavioral challenges
According to CHS, anxiety reports from students nearly double when school starts after summer break. If left untreated, anxiety and other mental health challenges can have a significant impact on a student’s classroom behavior, academic performance and social interactions.
Some general anxiety symptoms to watch out for in students include:
- Feeling nervous, restless or tense
- Breathing rapidly (hyperventilation)
- Sweating or trembling
- Feeling weak or tired
- Having trouble concentrating or thinking about anything other than the present worry
- Having trouble sleeping
- Experiencing gastrointestinal (GI) problems
- Increased tearfulness or irritability when it is time to go to school
- School refusal
For many children – especially those with existing mental health and behavioral challenges – adult support and understanding can help, said CHS.
Building a stable, daily routine and creating structure can help minimize stress for children as well as families. Having open conversations about anxieties can also help children cope and overcome concerns. Ask questions and allow the child to express their feelings without judgment.
Make sure your child gets enough sleep — if they have difficulty falling or staying asleep, explore nighttime rituals to calm before bed including reading together or quiet stretching exercises. Monitor eating habits and limit junk foods and sugar with healthy fruits, nuts and proteins.
Learning coping and relaxation strategies like deep breathing exercises and spending time outside in nature can help reduce worry and anxieties. And lastly, CHS advises to not to get frustrated as a parent. Be sure to stay positive and remember to take a break when you need it.
CHS provides counseling in multiple formats, including meeting with children and families in homes, in schools, in offices and online via Telehealth. To find help near you, visit chsfl.org/counseling.