Managing back to school stress: part 2
The first few weeks of school are usually very busy and can pass by very quickly. It can also be a stressful period of time. This article contains a list of activities that you and your child can do together to intentionally create some calm space during this time.
Creating a calm space
- Create regular times for connecting (one on one) with your child at the end of the school day. Collaboratively choose activities that you enjoy completing together, such as playing games, kicking a ball, or walking the dog.
- During this time of connection, reflect on your child’s strengths and provide positive reinforcement for them completing their school day. Consider asking open questions, such as:
- “What was something funny that happened today?”
- “What was the highlight of your day?”
- “What did you enjoy most?”
- “What’s something interesting that you learned today that you could teach me?”
- “What was a challenge that you overcame today?”
- “Is there anything that I can help you with to make things easier?”
- Plan to celebrate the milestone of the end of the first week of school, through completing a rewarding, and enjoyable activity together. This allows you all to have a celebratory activity to look forward to.
Learn and practice relaxation techniques
Learn and continue practicing relaxation techniques together and encourage your child to use techniques at school. These may include:
- Slowed breathing. See our previous blog post on breathing
- Progressive Muscle Relaxation/Muscle squeezes
- Having a something to squeeze or hold when feeling stressed in the classroom (e.g., a piece of blue tac in your child’s pencil case, or a cold bottle of water).
- Engaging with your senses during periods of high stress (noticing what you can see, hear, smell, taste, and touch). See this guided video for some sense exercises.
Remember that some level of stress and anxiety is normal, however if you’re noticing your child is reluctant to attend school, or they’re having difficulties engaging over a few weeks, then the best time to seek help is now and our team of highly skilled and well-experienced clinical psychologists are here to support you and your child.
Written by Katie Astley and Janice Wong
If you would like to learn more about managing school stress or want to book an appointment with Katie Astley, Janice Wong or another one of our experienced clinical psychologists, contact our friendly client team by calling 6143 4499 or email via our contact page.
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