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World Mental Health Day 2023: 10 Tactics To Help Your Child Navigate Anxiety At School

Witnessing your child grapple with anxiety in the school environment can be a challenging experience for any parent. Anxiety can take a toll on their overall well-being, affecting their eating habits, sleep patterns, and behavior. 

Recognizing the signs of anxiety and implementing effective strategies can make a significant difference in your child’s academic success and emotional well-being.

What is Academic anxiety?

Academic anxiety, also known as school-related anxiety, refers to the stress and apprehension that school-going children experience in response to academic pressures, expectations, and the challenges of the educational environment. It encompasses a range of anxieties, including fear of failure, performance anxiety, test anxiety, and worry about meeting academic standards. Academic anxiety can manifest as nervousness before exams, avoidance of academic tasks, procrastination, or a constant feeling of being overwhelmed by academic demands. 

In an exclusive interview with Zee News English, Chetan Jaiswal, founder, CEO, MyPeegu shares all about helping school going children to navigate and manage anxiety at school and keep up their mental health.

Strategies to Help Your Child Manage Anxiety in School to Thrive Academically and Mentally

Mr. Chetan comments, “Children who are worried typically eat badly and sleep poorly; some may overeat and oversleep in an effort to cope with the elevated stress level. Children that are stressed frequently make up

tales and tell lies to get out of having to take responsibility. Additionally, they are more likely to have emotional breakdowns, have temper tantrums, and exhibit behaviors like fidgeting and nail-biting.”

Here are 10 ways you can help your kids manage anxiety in school:

1. Starting early will help children overcome their anxiety or fear. Your child will feel more comfortable sharing their worries and concerns if you have an open talk about the forthcoming school year. 

2. Inspire your kid to interact with their pals. This can allay their worries and increase their enthusiasm for returning to school.

3. Foster a positive mood in your family by hyping about the school and all the wonderful things that will come with it. 

4 . Assist your youngster in organizing their routine. For instance, setting the wake-up time, preparing the school bags and clothes the night before to avoid feeling swamped with responsibilities in the morning.

5. Have a discussion. Use their concerns as an opportunity to have an open discussion about what’s causing them to feel anxious. Provide a supportive, safe place for your child to talk about school and what they’re struggling with. 

6. Practice relaxation techniques. Talk to your child about strategies that help them feel calm. Deep breathing, guided imagery, and mindfulness are essential relaxation strategies that kids can practice at home and utilize it in school. 

7. Role-play different scenarios. Once you’re aware of which situations at school cause your child to feel overwhelmed or anxious, rehearse potential responses and actions they could take. If your child is nervous about meeting new classmates, for example, you can ask your child questions and give them examples of how they can say hello and introduce themselves.

8. Stay mindful of your emotions. As a parent, it’s hard to see your child having a hard time. You want to help, alleviate their stress, and reassure them. Kids look to your moods and reactions for clues on how they should handle stress.

9. Encourage good sleep hygiene. Develop good sleep habits, such as sleeping in a quiet, dark room and keep a regular bedtime schedule, including weekends.

10. Talk to the school guidance counselor: Meeting with the school counselor not only helps your child but can reassure you as well. They may present different options to you, like checking up on your child throughout the day or share other suggestions and strategies.

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