It’s the middle of August. Back to school time. Does it mean back to school social anxiety time?
There’s excitement, shopping, back-to-school tours…maybe some complaining. Or some social anxiety. First day of school pictures with backpacks flood Facebook and Instagram.
Then maybe some calls from the school start coming that your child isn’t transitioning well. Or maybe that they’re not behaving well at school. And now, you’re the one stressed out.
Two tips that have helped many parents help their socially anxious child transition to going back to school are…
Tip #1 Reduce Stress.
Reduce stress. Very funny, huh? How do we reduce stress? We’re already stressed out or we have a fear of being stressed out. Or our kids are stressed out.
One very effective way to reduce stress in these situations is to let them know what they can expect. Set clear expectations.
Let them know what is coming and put an emphasis on the fun parts. The parts that they can look forward to and that you know would be important to them – like recess, art, P.E., digital media, etc.
Most of the time with anxiety, school social anxiety in particular, it’s a fear of what could happen.
When we know we have some fun things to look forward to, we’re way more likely to be ‘all game’. Like anytime we have to wake up really, really early and it’s just really, really hard…but when we know it’s for vacation that changes the whole story, right?
So in reducing stress start with clear expectations of what they can look forward to.
Tip #2 Pace The Process
We now know the goal with the clear expectation, now it’s time for patience on our part, as parents. If we ease kids in at their own speed, the transition will be way smoother and way shorter.
Sometimes it takes a little while. It’s worth the effort of patience and pacing the process to not extend a transition time any longer than it needs to be. No one would want to make a painful transition time extend from a two week process to become a two month process. Or longer. Right?
So number one, reduce stress by setting a clear expectation. Number two is to pace the process with patience and let them ease in at their own pace.
Contact us on our Facebook page and let us know how your child is transitioning to back to school. Any questions? We’d love to help.