A lot of kids and parents dread the first day of school because of the anxiety that comes with it. While in some cases children are able to get over that fear of starting a new school year, those who are living with mental illnesses can have a much harder time and can even get physically sick while experiencing anxiety.
Here are a few ideas that can help you and your child fight these anxieties:
- Acknowledge your child’s fears. It’s important as a parent and as your child’s support system that you listen to and understand that their fears are real and valid. Ask them about their triggers and what makes them anxious in school, and assure them and work around these concerns.
- Plan accordingly. Children living with mental illnesses can take some time of adjustment before entering a new environment. Some schools have open houses for familiarization purposes, but you can consider directly going to the teacher to schedule a tour for when your child doesn’t work well with crowds.
- Consider other education options. Sometimes your child just doesn’t sit well with traditional schools, so you can opt to have them transferred to a different program. You can have them enrolled in smaller schools for those who can have trouble with big crowds. You can also have them enrolled in a special education school, or have them home-schooled.
Just like in any other situation, some planning, adjustment, and patience will help you and your child get through these back-to-school anxieties.