HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — Edit August 2020: As the school year approaches, there is plenty of chaos for parents and teachers who have to prepare. But, most people forget that students are experiencing the majority of the pressure of heading back to school. These stressors can be magnified during the pandemic with all the changes in school systems around the country.
In August 2019, we sat with Shannan Roberts from Counseling Associates of Huntsville to get some more information about the effects of anxiety in students of all ages, from kindergarten to college.
She gives tips for parents in identifying signs of anxiety and strategies to relieve stress in your child at home.
She says, “You want to teach them to deal with their feelings and help them navigate emotional regulation. Talk to them about realistic expectations and that it’s okay to be worried about your first day at school.”
According to a February Pew survey, 70 percent of teens say anxiety and depression is a “major problem” among their peers, and an additional 26 percent say it’s a minor problem. But this problem can start with students at a much younger age. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, anxiety disorders are the most common type of mental health disorder in childhood, affecting approximately 8% of all children and adolescents.
The Child Mind Institute says that sometimes anxiety in a young child in the classroom can be easy to see. But other times, it can express itself in a completely different fashion, from a child complaining about a headache or stomach ache, unwarranted disruptive behavior, an ADHD diagnosis, or even a signs of a learning disorder.
If you see signs of anxiety in your child that may be worsened by the pressures of school, consider some of the tactics mentioned by Shannan Roberts and reach out to a counselor or therapist for more information.