Sunday, September 19, 2010

Back to School Anxiety

All across the nation, parents and children are back in the routine of getting up and out the door for school. For some, going back to school is exciting and something they look forward to. For others, the prospect of returning to school cause intense anxiety for both the child and the parent. Some children do not handle school well. They may experience physical symptoms such as stomach aches, nausea, headaches, and general feeling of malaise,  they just don't feel good. This is called anxiety. Sometimes this can lead to school refusal which causes many more issues to be uncovered. Sometimes, the child just is not a socially adept child. They don't know how to  read social signals from other kids. They end up getting hurt feelings or worse, being the target of bullies. This can be very frustrating for the parents. Often they are called numerous times during the day due to the child having expressed  feelings of being sick. Many families endorse numerous trips to the doctor with really little help on that end. Sometimes, their child is prescribed a GI medication to reduce gastric acid due to anxiety, but little else is offered to help. What is a parent to do? Somethings that can help a child is for the parent to be involved with the school. Show the child how to meet with people, talk about the issues and work together to get needs met. A parent who can model how to effectively deal with issues and situations that are less than pleasant will go a long way to help a child deal with their own demons. Additionally, a schedule for the child that is flexible but not wishy washy will help them get used to having things happen at a certain time they can depend on. All in all, it takes kids being supported, knowing they are being heard and an adult who cares enough to find out why they may be having trouble at school. Be sure to watch for signs of bullying. It could be happening on the bus, at recess or in a classroom. Good luck this school year to all the kids and grownups! If you need help, please see a therapist. Everyone could use a little help no and then.      

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