Q: Every year my children and I have a fantastic summer. Then the first week of school comes, and their anxiety level suddenly shoots up. How can we avoid this? — High Anxiety A: You can make back-to-school time less traumatic by clearing your schedule this month, so you can focus on being there for your children. The less you have to do at home and on the job, the more relaxed your kids will be.
Children tend to be especially anxious if they are attending a new school or have had bad experiences the previous year. This is the time for you to be calm, positive, and reassuring. If they were bullied or teased the previous year, let new teachers know about this during the first days of school to stop it from happening again. Don’t overreact to problems that crop up initially. Instead, help your children develop good coping strategies.
You also can make the start of school more comfortable for younger children by arranging play dates for them during these first weeks of school. This will help them rebuild social relationships with classmates.© Compass Syndicate Corporation, 2010 • Distributed by King Features Syndicate
Peggy Gisler and Marge Eberts