Beginning a new school year can create stress, for both kids and parents. However, there are very simple, tangible ways to help alleviate the anxiety. Consider utilizing some of the following strategies with your kids.
1. Create a Chill Out Plan
Make a list of at least three things you can do to chill out the next time you get anxious. This can include things like: read a book, listen to music, play with a pet, etc. Some kids even like to make a “Chill Out Box”, which contains de-stressing items, such as silly putty or a tension ball.
2. Practice relaxation techniques
Have your kids tighten all their muscles and count to five, imagining that they are squeezing out stress and tension. Then, have them relax their muscles for a few seconds. Continue to have them tense and relax muscles to wring out anxiety. You can even do this with your kids; it works for parents too!
3. List Therapy
If your child experiences anxiety over specific events or situations, help them come up with a list of small ways to conquer that fear. For example, if a child experiences shyness, the list could include things like: “order my own food in a restaurant” or “do one math problem on the board”.