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Stress and anxiety in school age children and how you can help them

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As the school holidays loom large on the horizon it's not too soon to be thinking about the day that your child will return to school after the summer break.

It's never too early for families to focus on getting ready for the upcoming school year. Many children find the transition either within school years or changing schools to be stressful, of course parents can also find it a difficult time too.

Around his time of year, I usually see an increase in the number of children visiting me who are dealing with the stress and fear associated with the back to school transition. The Summer holidays when school is out, are a great time to work on overcoming those issues before the next school year begins.

The anxiety associated with going back to school is especially common among children ages 5-8 and 10-14, when they are dealing a host of new changes. New schools, new friends and teachers and other worries can become too much and cause stress for your child.

You can help though. It is good to look for the common signs that you child may be experiencing some anxiety. These include unexplained headaches, stomach aches, trouble sleeping, difficulty making decisions, excessive shyness and clinginess.

 

To ease your child’s fears and concerns, here are some thoughts about things that you can try to help them

  Work with your child so that they can express their worries and feelings – either by talking, writing in a diary, or drawing pictures.

  Encourage them to tell an adult (i.e. a teacher) when they have a problem at school. They never need face things alone.

  Ask them to list the things they dislike about their time at school. Then, discuss which things they have the power to change, and how they could do this.

  How about Introducing some relaxation exercises to them, helping them to control their breathing, for especially stressful moments? As an example, you can have your child inhale for the count of three, hold the breath for three and exhale on six; or inhale to the count of four, hold for four and exhale on eight. Work with them to find the best way for them to do this.

  It's always good to prepare healthy meals and snacks, and enjoy physical activities together as a family.

 

If you find that your child’s anxieties begin to interfere with their daily activities in school, socially or at home, and negatively affect their overall well-being and health, this can be a sign that it is time to seek some professional help.

Hypnotherapy can be especially beneficial in helping children overcome their fears and anxiety. On average, children come in for 3-5 sessions, with improvement often noticeable after the first session. Working with children is always rewarding as they can be so open to change and enthusiastic about the prospects.

Feel free to contact me on 07980 233160 to ask how we can work with your child to help them with any anxiety. I provide free initial consultations.

You can also email me on info@markpowlett.co.uk

As well as working at my practice I also provide therapy to many clients via SKYPE

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