Helping Children Deal with Anxiety at School

Children and teens can suffer from anxiety disorder. For these children, school can be a stressful place. Starting in the early grades, children learn the importance of grades and school performance. They learn that some children are popular and some are not. Each day can be filled with stressful moments. Anxiety symptoms must be managed to cause the least disruption in a child's school day.

Parents can take steps to help their children manage the anxious feelings and help them better cope with school:

Develop a Night Time Routine

Getting a good night's sleep can help a child or teen deal more effectively with stress. Keep a routine at home so that your child goes to bed at the same time each night. Even teens need a nighttime routine to help give them stability and the proper amount of rest.

Provide a Balanced Breakfast

Children perform better in school if they have a balanced breakfast each morning. This can also help them to cope with the stress at school.

Incorporate Exercise into Your Child's Daily Routine

An exercise program helps to keep your children' healthy and relaxed. Even 15-20 minutes of exercise each day improves concentration and focus and may help your child's coping skills.

Teach Positive Thinking Skills

Many times children will tell themselves, "I can't" over and over throughout the day. Teaching them to replace these thoughts with "I can" will enable them to improve their self-esteem and will begin a process of overcoming negative thinking.

Teach Relaxation Techniques

Provide your child or teen with skills to help them relax during stressful situations. Deep breathing, visualization and focusing on relaxing muscles can help them better cope and calm down during stressful times at school.

Talk with Your Child's Teacher

Set up an appointment to speak with your child's teacher and discuss your child's anxiety. Find some strategies the teacher can implement in the classroom. Ask the teacher to allow your child to go to the nurse's office for a few minutes if needed to calm down and relieve stress.

Talk with Your Doctor if Symptoms Continue to Worsen

When anxiety symptoms do not go away or continue to worsen or consistently interfere with your child's ability to perform well at school, talk with your doctor about anxiety and what treatments are available.