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School anxiety: Top three tips to help your kids

School anxiety: TipsLast week, I spoke to Kate Barlow from The Parent Consultancy and asked her what her top tips were on helping your kids when they experience school anxiety, and are still struggling to settle in after a few weeks.

She had some great ideas, so we are sharing them with you here….

1. Be confident yourself

It is important to be confident and use positive language when talking to your child about school and their school day. Ask about their favourite thing that happened questions like:

“what made you laugh?”

“who did you play with?”

Questions such as these work better a lot better, and get better responses sometimes than:

“What did you today?”

2. Adjust your routine at home to help them

Ensure your child is getting enough sleep, though some children can function on relatively little sleep, most will benefit from an early night. Allow some down time after school. The first term at school is tiring, so your child might need to come home and relax. They may not be able to do this with many clubs and playdates. Though, of course, being a working parent can scupper this *knowing grin*

Children are often hungry after the school long day, so a snack on the way home can work wonders and change the mood quickly. For example, I know from my experiences that if I take a snack to school, there is a lot less bickering in the car on the way home!

3. Keep drop off brief, and let them know what’s happening

If we break down the day for your little one into segments, it may not seem so long, and can work well; register, play lunch story home. Perhaps even consider a care chart to help with this *cheeky face.*

It is definitely worth keeping the drop off as brief as possible and use the same sequence of events and remind her of them on the way to school. For example:

“When you have hung up your coat and said bye, Mummy is going to work/home, and will pick you up after school.”

Don’t be tempted to yoyo back and forth if she cries. Try and allow her to be settled by her teacher.

The most important thing to remember is that the more confident and relaxed you are….the better.

How are things at school going for you – does all this help? Do you have any other tips? Do share them with us below.

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Dr. Stephanie

Monday 17th of March 2014

These are great ideas! For one youngster I was working with who had trouble entering school in the mornings, we developed a "No fuss, no muss" chart (his family's idea) for which he earned a sticker for every day that he went in to school without issues. He was able to get a reward after 5 successful days, which he was proud to show me. After a few weeks, his parents happily reported that he no longer had this problem.

Lisa Bradburn

Monday 3rd of March 2014

Speaking as a mum and teacher...some great tips, especially keeping the drop off brief.

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