Back to School Blues - Is your child struggling to adjust?

 

It’s the beginning of the school year and while this should be an exciting time, it can be stressful for kids starting a new grade or school. If your child is starting crèche, pre-school, junior or high school, it is perfectly natural that they may be feeling a bit nervous or apprehensive. 

However, if you have a shy or anxious child, he or she may find the transition even more challenging and have a particularly difficult time adjusting and settling into the new routine. Remember, this is a big change and shy, insecure and anxious natured kids do not always cope well with the new school experience. Feelings of worry, anticipation, bewilderment and fearfulness often prevent them from interacting with their peers in a social setting or trying new activities. As a parent, you worry that your child refuses to go pre-school without you accompanying her, remains silent when spoken to, does not socialise or refuses to participate in any dance or sporting activities.

Do you sometimes wonder whether your child  will ever outgrow the shyness or anxiety? Are you trying not to make too big deal out of it or afraid that it’s gradually getting worse?

Our Clinical Psychologist shares tips on helping shy or anxious children settle into school more easily.     

What you can do to help your shy or anxious child settle in at school

  1. Avoid labelling your child as shy, insecure or anxious

“Oh, she’s just shy or she’s feeling anxious”. Often when parents speak to others they will mention in front of their child that he or she is shy or anxious. When kids hear or are told that they are shy or anxious, they begin to accept and believe that they are - especially when it comes from their parents - and as a result will not feel the need to change. Make a point of not labelling your child and instead be more encouraging and positive when he or she interacts with other children or does something bold. 

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  1. Prepare your child in advance

Preparing your child ahead of time about what to expect in certain school scenarios can be very helpful. Remember, it’s the unknown that scares them! If your little one is starting a new school, you may want to familiarize him or her with the school building – show him where his classroom and toilets are, and where you will be waiting for him when school is finished at the end of the day. Doing this type of prep will ease your child’s anxiety and fears, and help him cope much better with the situation.  Mostly, maintain a positive attitude about the transition and emphasise that the new school year is going to be great!

 3. Routine! Routine

Structure and predictable routines are vital in any child’s life but even more so when he is going through an emotionally difficult change. During this time, do not make any drastic changes. Fetch your child from school at the same time and also keep meal and bedtimes the same.

Children with fragile natures often struggle to sleep or may experience bad dreams and night terrors. Here’s where natural remedies can be very effective to help your child get a good night’s rest. In the Feelgood Health range, Du Du Drops promotes healthy, peaceful sleep patterns and keeps children calm and relaxed. Use Good Dream Sprinkles to reduce nightmares and night terrors and help your child fall asleep peacefully again.

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  1. Be organized

Help your child adjust to the new school routine by being more organized. Make sure that the environment at home is calm and relaxed, especially in the mornings before you have to drop your child off. We all know what a rush mornings can be like - but if you are organized, they can run smoothly. Prepare lunches and check homework the night before to make things easier for you. This is also a good opportunity to get your child involved and teach him a bit of responsibility like getting his uniform ready and bag packed for the next day.  The last thing an anxious child needs in the morning is stress and a mad rush!  

  1. Offer reassurance

It is very important that you reassure your child all the time about anything that he or she is feeling unsettled about. Listen to your child’s concerns and don’t trivialize them. Help him to understand that all children and even adults are nervous and feel scared when they have to do something for the first time.  Tell your child about your happy experiences at school and that if he is worried, he can speak to you about it.  Try not to show that you are also struggling with your child’s transition to the new school because he or she will definitely pick up on your angst.

Sometimes reassurance alone is not enough and extra help is needed to feel more confident, less anxious and fearful! Use an all-natural remedy, K OK KiddieCalmer to calm shy, anxious and distressed children. This effective homeopathic remedy from Feelgood Health has been especially formulated for children. It helps to increase confidence levels and will also help children adjust to new situations. For additional support, MindSoothe Jr is a natural solution to relieve anxiety, depression, sadness and low self- esteem in children.

HAVE A QUESTION related to your health?
Email us, FREE of charge for advice, click here  

By implementing these useful strategies and tips, settling shy and anxious children into school this year can be a breeze!

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