We are back to school! And as much as we enjoy it, we cannot overlook that such times might bring up some negative energy and anxiety, especially for home-schooled children because they have less to plan which might highlight certain gaps between them and their peers. But whether your kids are home-schooled or go to school, anxiety might be hard to avoided.
So, how to deal with my anxious children?
1| Identify the signs
As we mentioned, it is a stressful time, but be sure that your kids are feeling anxiety not just day-to-day stress. How? Look for signs such as severe habit changes, unexplained crying or stomachaches, appearing more clingy than usual, getting upset quickly and expressing negative thoughts and worries. These signs will help you in directing how to deal with your kid’s anxiety.
2| Foster a comfort zone
Create a calming comfort zone for you and your kids where you can sit and talk to them away from the stress of school and studying. If you home-school your kids, or they’re stuck at home because of Covid-19, try to make this zone as far away from where they study as much as possible.
3| Bond with them
This part is easy and fun for you and for your kids. Bonding is not just sitting face to face and talking. It could be through cooking together, watching a movie, playing board games like puzzles or monopoly. Remember to actually do this activity with them, not just hand it over to them.
4| Encourage healthy habits
Eating healthy is one major part of it, but it also includes encouraging them to exercise through offering prizes like an hour on their favorite video game or getting ice-cream or a healthy smoothie. This will encourage to stay active and will create a healthy balance for them. Also, encourage them to maintain their calmness, this can be done through breathing exercises, counting to ten before speaking, and meditating to clear their minds of anxiety and stress.
5| Understand when to push and when to back down
It might be tricky to know when we as mothers should push our kids into doing thing and when to take a step back. The previously mentioned signs might help you in understanding that. For example, if your kids start crying when asked to do their homework, listen to what they have to say, promise them a treat after, or simple postpone it for half an hour or so till they calm down and then do it with them. This will great good communication grounds, and you’ll kids will have trust that you will understand their needs.
On the other hand, we as mothers would face stress in times such as back to school and this stress might lead to anxiety whether you are a working mom, or a stay at home mom. What to do to avoid that?
Start by planning your calendar ahead. Write down what you need and school supplies to avoid doing two or more runs to the bookstore. Also, plan schedules for you and your kids to avoid being late. This requires connecting with your family and handling responsibilities as a team.
We understand it might be overwhelming but try not to express your stress in front of your kids because they are bond to catch the negative energy. Talk to your spouse, friend, or any member of your family to share all of this and unburden yourself. The most important thing is to take breath and have yourself a break to relax and keep reminding yourself; the kids will be fine, because you are a great mom!