Focus on Family: Tips for managing back to school jitters

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Ellen Astrachan-Fletcher

Signs of anxiety about returning back to school:

Issues with sleep

Withdrawing socially

Refusal about discussing school – OR wanting to talk about details over and over in a manic-way

Emotional mood swings – i.e., quick to tears or anger

Things parents and kids can do:

Deep breaths…lengthening the exhale

Stay calm and reassure them. For example “I know that you are afraid of the pressure you feel with school work and I know if we plan ahead, you can do your work in smaller more manageable chunks.”

Get the whole family into a routine as soon as possible. Family meals together can help the transition, too.

If the anxiety is severe, help the kids focus on one of these four options:

Problem solve — come up with solutions TOGETHER workable for your child

Change your interpretation

Do nothing different and stay miserable and anxious

Radically accept and let go of what you cannot change so that you can go back to problem solving what you can change

Insight Behavioral Health Centers
Chicago, Northbrook, Oak Park, and Evanston
(312) 540-9955
www.insightbhc.com

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