(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

Why school portables are a ‘way of life’ in Surrey

THIRD IN A SERIES: A look at concerns surrounding Surrey’s 300-plus portables

Grieving mom hopes Facebook message leads to new investigation into son’s Surrey homicide

Criminal Justice Branch didn’t lay charges, concluding no substantial likelihood of murder or manslaughter conviction

Stay home, cats – only pet dogs are OK to attend ‘Cat Walk’ at Surrey park

Surrey Community Cat Coalition’s second annual fundraiser planned Saturday

Surrey high school teacher receives Loran award

First ever to be given to Surrey teacher, district says

ZYTARUK: Canal isn’t Surrey’s first ‘different’ idea

Anyone up for waterskiing in Doug’s Ditch?

VIDEO: Trans Mountain expansion project gets green light, again

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the decision in Ottawa on Tuesday afternoon

MPs hear retired B.C. nurse’s petition to change compensation for fatal medical errors

Teri McGrath wants provinces to implement no-fault system for medical errors

Horgan says he’ll still defend B.C. coast after second Trans Mountain approval

Meanwhile, one B.C. First Nation has announced plans for a legal challenge

Metro Vancouver’s air quality could be the worst yet this wildfire season

As wildfire season approached, Metro Vancouver experts predict the air will be an issue for many

Demonstrators on either side of Trans Mountain debate clash in Vancouver

Crowd heard from member of Indigenous-led coalition that hopes to buy 51% of expansion project

Update: Multiple fires along the railway tracks in Pitt Meadows

CP rail has closed tracks while firefighters work

B.C.’s measles vaccination program gains traction in May

More than 15,000 doses of the MMR vaccine has been administered across the province

B.C. farmers concerned Agricultural Land Reserve changes choking their livelihood

Dozens voice concerns at special meeting hosted on Vancouver Island

UPDATE: Two-year-old involved in Chilliwack pool drowning has died

Toddler was reported to not be breathing as air ambulance called out Thursday afternoon

Most Read