By Mary Lou Rosien, BSW
It seems as if the minute we start the back-to-school shopping, my daughter’s anxiety starts. She has trouble sleeping, gets very whiny and even experiences anxiety attacks. This year she has the added pressure of moving up to middle school. These fears can be very real for school-age kids.
Stress and anxiety can look different in children than adults. Recognizing the signs can sometimes be difficult. They can include: difficulty sleeping, bad dreams, change in attitude, crying, or disinterest in buying clothes or school supplies. What can look like a bad attitude in your child can actually be fear. Recognizing what is going on below the surface is the first step in dealing with it.
Once identified there are things we can do to help reduce our student's fear of the unknown:
All of us will experience stress or anxiety at some time. Realizing that back-to-school may be one of these times for your students can be a wonderful teaching moment; One in which we can identify with our children, teach them tools to overcome stress and impart on them the wisdom of trusting God in all things.
Mary Lou Rosien is a frequent contributor to Catholic magazines and the author of Managing Stress with the Help of your Catholic Faith (OSV Publishing). She prepares six of her seven children for school in her home in N.Chili, NY.
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