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Back to School

25th Aug 2021

With the end of August comes that familiar ‘Back to School’ feeling. For some children they are brimming with excitement and ready to get back. For others this can feel quite a daunting time and can cause them nervousness, worry and anxiety.

We at BulliesOut recognise the issues and the worries so many children feel regarding the return to school and know how much it can upset parents to see their children suffering with these worries and concerns.

To assist, we have put together some of our top tips to help your child try and develop coping strategies to work through their worries. Rather than try and remove the worry or dismiss it, or try and ‘fix’ it for them, what is important is that we work with our children to empower them to find their own individual and unique ways to manage their anxiety. It will hold such benefit in the future if they can identify how to do this from a young age.

  1. How do they ‘feel’? Get them to write down how they feel – even if it’s just a few words. Positives, negatives, what matters is how they feel. For younger children, it can be helpful to write down some words that can help them express their feelings, as this can assist them in developing their vocabulary in this area and help them increase their emotional awareness. If your child is saying ‘they’re not sure’ or ‘don’t know’ how they feel, then it could be this would be a helpful exercise to do with them.
  2. Get them to make a list of 5 people they think they could turn to if they have a problem and/or is a person that they think will be able to help make them feel better. This helps because in a time of worry they can look at it and even if they aren’t ready to discuss the issue itself, they can identify people they know that they can reach out to, people who can help them feel better about themselves.
  3. Encourage them to get outdoors. The endorphins released during exercise and the fresh air can make a real impact on our mental health. If they won’t go outside even putting on some music and dancing round the room with them to their favourite songs can make a big difference.
  4. Teach them the 54321 technique. This mindfulness technique is useful if you are experiencing a panic attack or feel overwhelmed. Ask them to think of 5 things they can see. Then to think of 4 things they can hear. Then 3 things they can touch, 2 things they can smell, and lastly 1 thing they can taste. This technique can help ground you and is a useful one for them to be aware of in times of anxiety or stress.
  5. Demonstrate some Breathing Techniques that can help to ground them in a time of stress or anxiety. Even by just giving them an understanding that anxiety causes adrenaline to be produced, which in turn, makes your body want to breathe more quickly, can help them to understand the physical reactions that are taking place within their bodies. The 4-7-8 technique is a useful one to try. Inhale for 4 seconds, hold the breath for 7 seconds and then exhale for 8 seconds.

The ‘Back to School’ stage can be a tough one for many. We are here to support you as parents. We offer training to help you and more information is on our website.

We are also here to support your children. We offer a free and confidential e-mentoring service to offer to support to anyone who may be struggling. Please get in touch if we can help.

 

Written by Lucy Howard, BulliesOut Digital Communications Officer.

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