Child counselling Calgary

Easing Back to School Anxiety with Child Counselling

Kate KolskogUncategorized Leave a Comment

While it can be exciting the start of another school year can bring feelings of anxiety with it for some children. There is a certain amount of anxiety that can be expected when returning to school, meeting new teachers, and negotiating new friendships. Our kids may not know how to fully express their feelings and as a result may be more likely to act out and test boundaries.

This type of behavior is normal while going through a seasonal transition like back to school. Kids may also be withdrawn, sad, or overly emotional while they say goodbye to summer and fall back into their routines. Each child is unique in how they adjust to being back in the classroom, and there is no way to predict how long this will take.

For some children, the return to routine and busy schedules can be overwhelming and challenging to deal with. It may trigger significant feelings of anxiety that start to impact their ability to participate fully in the classroom and at home. If back to school anxiety is causing your child significant distress, a visit to a child psychologist in Calgary can be a big help.

How Child Psychology Can Help With School Anxiety

Understanding Children & Anxiety

Child counselling is an effective way to provide your child with the tools and skills they need to manage their anxiety in any situation, not just in the classroom. Many of our kids are under immense pressure to succeed and fit in from multiple sources including parents, teachers, coaches, and friends. 

This pressure can trigger anxiety and feelings of overwhelm that most kids aren’t equipped to manage. Child counsellors are trained to work with children and youth to help them develop coping mechanisms that can help in navigating these feelings and emotions. 

Child and youth brains are still undergoing significant development and as a result, they may not respond to stressful situations in the same way as an adult. They also lack the emotional development to express themselves in healthy, constructive ways. This is why a visit to a child counsellor in Calgary who fully understands the unique needs of your child is important.

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Developing Coping Skills

A visit with a child psychologist in Calgary that specializes in working with children and youth is not only beneficial to kids, but also to parents. While your child is the focus of each counselling session, parents can be involved in treatment and may sometimes participate. Often a treatment plan will involve direct and ongoing involvement of a parent or other caregiver. There may be changes or adjustments made to how you interact with and support your child both during treatment and at home.

When working with a child that has significant anxiety the focus of each counselling session will be on developing coping mechanisms that will allow them to move past these challenges. There will also be an emphasis put on healthy communication and ways to express feelings that might otherwise go unaddressed.

Children and youth may be given strategies from a short-term therapeutic technique called Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, where they’re taught to change how they interact with their thoughts, along with how to change their thought patterns. These skills can be helpful not only in managing anxiety but also in other stressful situations both at school and at home.

Knowing When to Ask for Help

While this time of year is stressful for kids and parents alike, it’s important to understand what is and isn’t “normal” when it comes to anxiety. During the first few weeks of school children may be restless, be inattentive or have difficulties settling down at night. They may refuse to go to school and struggle with transitions between activities, like going from school straight to soccer practice.

These types of behaviors are both normal and expected. Parents should watch their children closely to see how long these behaviors last and whether they lessen over the first few weeks of school. If these symptoms continue, worsen or if new behaviors begin, a visit to a child counsellor in Calgary is likely a good idea.

Anxiety in children and youth can look a lot like negative behaviors that leave parents feeling frustrated. In addition to the symptoms already discussed, be on the lookout for things like activity avoidance, meltdowns and tantrums, complaints of an upset stomach or headaches, and general agitation.

With the right support and guidance from a child psychologist in Calgary or therapist who specializes in working with children and youth, your child can learn healthy coping skills that will benefit them both at school and at home. Children are just as likely to struggle with anxiety as adults, and by addressing these issues early on you can set your child up for long term success. Contact our offices today to schedule an appointment.

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