Anxiety about starting school after a summer outdoors with siblings, neighbors, and parents is not unusual among children, and usually subsides after a few days of settling into their new routines. However, if you are noticing changes in your child that last more than a few weeks after starting school, it is possible that he or she might be suffering from anxiety and could benefit from extra support. Because children often express their anxiety differently from adults, it is important to know what to look for in your child. Some signs of anxiety in children include daily stomach-aches, headaches, compulsive behavior, temper tantrums, school avoidance, and social isolation.

If you think your child might be suffering from anxiety, it is important to talk to them to try and determine the source of their fears. Are they dealing with a bully everyday at school? Are they struggling to keep up due to a learning difficulty? Are they having separation anxiety? Often times when we understand the cause we can easily arrive at the solution.

When there is no larger underlying problem at the root of your child’s anxiety, one of the most important things you can do to help them feel less anxious is to offer them your encouragement and to positively reinforce their strengths. A healthy self-esteem is one of the most powerful treatments for anxiety in both children and adults. You can help build your child’s self-esteem by giving them genuine praise, focusing on what they are doing well in at school, and by keeping track of their progress in dealing with situations that cause them anxiety. This strategy helps both you and your child focus on what is going well rather than emphasizing negative behavior.

A regular daily routine consisting of healthy meals and exercise is also fundamental to treating anxiety by promoting good blood sugar balance and stress hormone regulation. Regular bedtimes, a nutrient dense breakfast, and limiting or eliminating tv and video game time are important components of a healthy routine. Beyond diet and lifestyle measures, many children with anxiety also benefit from homeopathic and herbal remedies. These remedies work to give their nervous systems extra support while they are working on building their self-esteem. This support can ensure that your child is getting restful sleep at night and is maintaining clear focus during the day so that they can learn and participate appropriately at school.

If you have concerns about anxiety in your child, please make an appointment to see us so we can help you ensure that your child has a fun and rewarding school year.