Supporting Your Anxious Child

My son struggles with anxiety and is very scared to go into the sixth grade. What can I do to help him through it?

A new school year brings a mixture of excitement, worry, and anticipation for most kids an teens. They look forward to seeing their friends and wonder what their classes will be like. Yet for kids who struggle with anxiety, adjusting to a new school year can feel very stressful.Watch movie online The Transporter Refueled (2015)

Some kids’ personalities and temperaments are more prone to feeling anxious. For them, the future and the unknown seem very threatening. If your son is anxious, he will likely run through multiple scenarios of what might go wrong, stress about what others will think of him, and worry he will mess up somehow. In his mind, this all feels very real and he believes things are going to turn out terrible. Teach your child that his anxious feelings are making things seem worse than they really are. It is more important to help him learn how to cope with his anxiety rather than to try to solve every fear that he has.

Environmental stressors, such as financial hardship, family discord, peer troubles, and learning difficulties can also cause anxiety. The anxiety then “bleeds out” and kids begin to feel anxious in other areas of their life. Because they are already dealing with hardship, the adjustment to the new school year feels extra stressful. Be sure to check with your child about real sources of hardship, and get him the support he needs.

Here are some tools to help your son cope.

  • Let him know that you are there for him to talk. Help him contain his fears by discussing how he reacts to new things and that he will feel better as he begins to adjust. It is important that you stay calm and noncritical of him.
  • Help him identify who his supports are, such as his parents, friends, grandparents, teachers, and school counselors. Encourage him to spend time with his supports.
  • Establish routines for him again, such as a weekday curfew/ bed time, exercise schedule, meal times with family, and time for recreation. Making school and life predictable will be one of the best tools to help him cope.
  • Identify what he needs to feel supported at school, such as a friend he can talk to, checking where his classes will be, and how to open his locker.
  • Encourage him to get involved (or stay involved) with his hobbies and talents. They will be a source of relaxation and self esteem generic celebrex.

This is a good time for your son to learn that he has to work at feeling better. He is learning to come up with options that will help him cope. Most importantly, he is learning how to reach out to you for support. If you feel he needs additional help, therapy will be a good resource for your family.

Amy Cluff, LCSW has a private therapy practice in St. George, Utah. She has been working with children and families for over 10 years.