All children feel anxious at some point during their school experience, this is a normal part of development. Anxiety can be displayed in many different ways, fear, worry, tummy ache, tears or aggression. Children experience anxiety for many different reasons, moving house, homework, parent's separation or friendships and may not want to talk about it because they are embarrassed, scared or ashamed.
As parents we worry about how to help. Below is a list of simple techniques to try at home:-
- Don't panic!
- Encourage your child to open up about their feelings, give them time to talk, share your own anxieties as a child
- Modelling calm behaviour, managing your own anxiety show children it can be achieved
- Encourage good eating (reduce caffeinated, high sugar drinks and foods), regular exercise, hobbies, sufficient sleep and connection with friends. When young people are well rested and relaxed, they will be in a better mental state to handle fears or worries
- Don't avoid the things that make your child anxious, accept their concerns but don't empower them. Avoidance reinforces the anxiety
- If the anxiety becomes problematic or concerning look at seeking external support via school or your GP
- Please talk to your child's class teacher or Mrs Cole-Galley if you have concerns, sharing a problem gives more opportunities for support. We can support children in school through the following strategies
1. Well-being chats
2. We Eat Elephants Programme (WEE) a CBT based initiative aimed at building resilience and problem solving
3. Referrals to agencies such as Primary Jigsaw or HYMs
The following websites can provide help and advice also:-