School and learning can present many worries for children. Some worries, such as struggling to complete homework on time are fairly easy to solve with a little organisation. Others, like the fear of returning back to school after the holidays, may require a little more nurturing.
Anxiety can make school difficult for kids. It can prevent them from reaching their full potential, and in very severe cases, stop them from attending school at all. In this article, we’ll take a look at ways to help ease anxiety in students and make school and learning a more pleasant and enriching experience.
What Can Cause Anxiety in Students?
Anxiety can come out of nowhere or it may be present every day. For example, a child who is usually calm and confident can be sent into a tailspin at the mere mention of an exam or test. Some children may really struggle with separation anxiety or worry over their friendship groups.
Anxiety should always be taken seriously and never seen as just “worries”. With the right guidance and a little practice, children can calm down their anxious brains and learn to cope with a whole host of situations as they journey through their school life. Let’s take a look at some ways you can help them to not only manage their anxieties but also recognise the warning signs for themselves.
Talk it Over
If you suspect your child is feeling anxious or a teacher has approached you with concerns, the first step is to find some time to talk it over. Sit in a comfortable spot with your child and ask them how they feel when they become anxious. What is happening in their body and mind? Always validate their feelings and words. Many children feel so much better simply by sharing their fears and worries.
Make a Worry Box
A worry box gives your child a physical way to release their worries. Simply take a small colourful box, some bright sticky notes and a pen and place these somewhere for your child to use whenever they need to. Whenever they feel anxious they can write down their worry and pop it in the box. For many children, the act of writing the worry down can take its power away.
Practice a Little Mindfulness
Don’t worry, we won’t be asking you to get into the downward dog position for this one, although yoga is a great way to ease anxiety. Mindfulness is less of an activity and more of a way of life. When you’re mindful, you are fully present, aware of what you are doing, and less likely to be overwhelmed or reactive.
Try a few minutes of meditation with your child before or after school, plant some seeds together and watch them grow every day or simply make it a priority to spend quality time with each other every day.
Practice Breathing Exercises
When we become anxious, our body often goes into fight or flight mode. This can lead to a rapid heart rate, faster breathing, and tense muscles. A good way to restore calm is to focus on breathing. When we slow down breathing, we slow down the brain. Children can learn how to slow their breathing down with exercises like belly breathing. This is a great exercise to practice any time of day and is great for adults, too!
Teach Your Child to Spot the Warning Signs
No matter what your child does, they will never get rid of anxiety completely and neither would you want them to. Anxiety, in the right amounts, is healthy. Instead, teach them how to spot the warning signs so they can cope and manage better. From shortness of breath to racing thoughts, teaching your child to read the cues can help them to take a step back and practice their coping techniques.
How a Tutor Can Ease Anxiety and Worries For Students
Worries about school, the classroom, and schoolwork are common. The good news is that they are often short-lived and easy to get under control. If your child is worried about a particular subject or has exam or test anxiety, hiring a private tutor could make a world of difference.
At Tutor Doctor, we have brought peace of mind to countless parents and children with tailored one-to-one private tutor services that help children to gain confidence and leave their anxieties behind them. If you’d like to find out more about private, one-to-one online tutoring, find a location near you to get started.