Brand SpotlightYour Healthy Family


Your Healthy Family: Helping kids cope with back to school anxiety

Posted at 9:39 AM, Aug 10, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-11 13:52:11-04

For most Southwest Florida kids, Wednesday is the first day of school. It can be an exciting and overwhelming time for kids. But there are ways to help your kids cope with any anxiety they're feeling.

When overwhelming anxiousness sets in, Licensed Therapist Jody Baumstein said to help your child work through any "what-ifs."

"Anxiety can come from fear of the unknown, so for some kids, what's going to be most helpful is just really familiarizing them with certain things related to going to school," she said.

Psychologist Brandy Baker with Intuition Wellness said if that doesn't work, have your child take a breather.

"Practicing deep breathing when someone isn't in anxiety is the precursor to using it in anxiety," she said.

Baker also said instead of your child sitting in front of a screen, or isolated in their rooms, get them outside.

"Get into nature and get the kids up early and outside. But that sunshine is just so important," Baker said.

Organization Guru Jane Lee said another way to help ease any anxiety is to help your child get organized.

"It's so important for these kids to be physically prepared, to be emotionally prepared. And organization gives them a sense of confidence, of calm when their emotions are all over the place. They know that they have a set place that when they're ready to study, or need a pen or paper or ruler, it's all in the same place and they don't have to dig deep in their bags when the teacher is saying 'Let's go students, let's go!'" Lee said.

Baker said of course, treatment for anxiety may be necessary. But really listening to your child's needs is most important.

"Some kids, maybe they don't want to go to a therapist. Maybe something else like rock climbing could be helpful," she said.

Mental health experts also say to make sure to talk to your kids about how they're feeling about the first few days of school. Help them have a growth mindset and believe in this new school year, anything is possible.