The transition from summer to fall is always busy, especially with little ones. The new and fast-approaching school can create anxiety and stress. While some parents turn to prescription medication for their children, others look for alternatives to anxiety medication.
The back-to-school jitters are often normal and expected, but depending on your child, the anxiety can range from mild to severe. Thankfully, parents can help their children transition; they can help ease the stress that often comes with change, even with changes as familiar as switching grades and going to school.
Why Do Kids Have Trouble With Transition
Kids have trouble with transitions because they represent change. Most adults still cannot handle change well, so why should we expect children to cope any better?
The simple truth is that children typically deal with more frequent changes than adults. Also, they are still developing physiologically and psychologically, so they may not have the emotional maturity to cope with change.
Every year, your child must deal with a change in grade, teacher, homeroom, peers, classroom rules, etc. Every year. How would you cope if you had to switch careers or offices every year, if your boss or manager was new with a fresh set of expectations?
Children cope with a great deal of change every new school year. Some aspects remain constant, like the process and fundamental expectations (homework, grades, attendance, etc.), but many are significantly different and potentially unsettling. Many children lack the emotional maturity to cope with such significant changes, leading to anxiety and fear when approaching transitions.
Some OTC remedies can help. For example, parents might check out Brillia for children reviews. If your child suffers severe anxiety symptoms, you might consider taking them to a professional psychologist.
Helping Your Child Prepare for Change
Besides finding and using appropriate over-the-counter anxiety meds, there are things you can do to help your child prepare for the summer-to-fall transition. Experts recommend a few strategies to help ease the transition:
- Develop a sleep-wake routine weeks before the school start
- Communicate openly about fears, stress, worry, etc., about the upcoming school year
- Focus on positive changes, like new clothing, supplies, friendships, etc.
- Incentivize “brave” behavior
- Visit the school and simulate the drop-off experience
- Tour the new classroom, if possible
- Meet the new teacher, if possible
- Validate emotions, but avoid substantiating fears
Also, you can help your little one by remaining calm and speaking positively about the upcoming year. Outdoor play and activity can also help distract from worry and ease stress.
Transition and change are challenging for adults. Why would the experience be any different for children? Little ones lack the emotional ability to express their concerns and self-manage their stress.
The summer-fall transition is hard, but it is also manageable. If your child experiences mild anxiety, OTC remedies can help. However, if their symptoms are severe, talk to their pediatrician or a child psychologist about finding more effective solutions, like behavioral therapy or prescription medication. The new school year can cause anxiety, but most children can cope well with parental support and compassion.