(UFV)

Are your kids anxious about going back to school?

BC Children’s Hospital offers tips to help your children be mindful and reduce stress

How are you feeling with back-to-school season approaching?

Excited? Stressed? Nervous?

BC Children’s Hospital child and adolescent psychiatrist Dr. Ashley Miller has a few ideas for you.

“Parents should really follow their child’s lead,” said Dr. Miller, and recognize the signs of stress or anxiety in their kids.

“For younger kids, it’s clinginess or crying or more tantrums, being more irritable and refusing to go.”

Other kids will try and get out of class by complaining of stomachaches or headaches.

READ MORE: Is your family ready to head ‘back to school?’ bc211.ca can help!

There are a lot of reasons why kids might worry about going back to school.

“For younger kids, it’s missing their parents, not knowing anyone, or wondering if they’ll like their teacher,” Dr. Miller said. “For teens, a lot of it is fitting in socially and their achievement in class.”

Although worrying about school is natural to a degree, Dr. Miller said parents should make sure they’re checking in with their kids on a regular basis.

“For kids who are more anxious about going back to school, it’s important for parents to understand and be empathetic to it. It might seem like a small thing to us, but it’s a big deal to them.”

How parents react is key, she added. If kids are met with judgment, they’re not likely to open up to their parents again.

At the same time, Miller noted it’s important not to blow little day-to-day struggles out of proportion and to remind kids that they can handle it.

“A good way is to say, ‘I remember about how last year, when this happened, you were able to do this thing and you were able to deal with it,’” she said.

“If a repeated pattern of intimidation starts happening, then parents do need to get involved. It’s not enough to just say, ‘Oh, stand up for yourself.’”

For kids who are naturally just a little more anxious, Dr. Miller recommends two apps: Breathr, to help teens be more mindful, and Stresslr, for younger kids.

She said it’s important for parents to breathe as well.

“Everybody gets stressed from time to time, but it’s good to look at household stress as a whole,” she said. “Making sure no one is over-scheduled and doing things like going for walks to relax.”

For more resources, check out:


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Chilliwack couple who went missing on flight from Edmonton named by family

Family released statement saying they’re still focused on finding the two-seater plane

Father of teen who died in government care to run for Chilliwack school board

Peter Lang, who is Métis, also wants to see more Indigenous representation in the district

Chilliwack RCMP use bucket truck to nab distracted drivers

Police used the ‘eye in the sky’ on Sept. 20 near the Evans Roundabout

VIDEO: Chilliwack dairy farmer says Trump doesn’t understand the industry

‘They need supply management just as bad as we need to keep it’: sixth generation farmer Devan Toop

Around the BCHL: Merritt’s Matthew Kopperud nets Sun Devil scholarship

Around the BCHL is a look at the BCHL and goings-on throughout the junior A world.

VIDEO: More cameras, police coming after Marissa Shen killed in Burnaby park

B.C. privacy watchdog worries that the cameras are a ‘slow creep’ to a surveillance state

Arborist killed by fallen tree at Maple Ridge Golf Course

Was working near the 9th tee box of the golf course.

Rattie scores 3 as Oilers blank Canucks 6-0

Vancouver slips to 1-5 in exhibition play

Veterans Affairs ordered to take second look before supporting vets’ relatives

Liberal government ordered officials to adopt a more critical eye

Dead B.C. motorcyclist was member of group that raced down mountain road

Some group members record their rides on Strathcona Parkway and post times to page

Indigenous athletes in spotlight at BC Sports Hall of Fame

New gallery to feature Carey Price, Kaila Mussel and Richard Peter

Abbotsford raccoon dies from injuries suffered in a trap

Wildlife protection group offering $1,000 reward for information about incident

VIDEO: A close look at what you were breathing during the B.C. wildfire season

Electron microscope images show soot and tar particles generated by worst B.C. fire season

B.C. woman donates $250,000 to ovarian cancer research for friends

Two of Patty Pitts’s friends passed away from the disease within a year

Most Read