Do you know that feeling when you start something new, that makes you really nervous?
A lot of children and teens experience anxiety and stress every year when they start school (again) after the summer holiday.
My Friends Daughter
I have a friend with a daughter who is so nervous that she can’t really enjoy her holiday, because she is worrying all the time. She has not been herself. It is really heartbreaking to see her worry so much. I think what is even worse, is that the whole family is suffering because of this.
The girl is nervous all the time and she doesn’t sleep well, because of that she isn’t really the sunshine at home, she normally is and should be.
What To Do
My friend asked me what to do. She said: “I can’t handle this every summer and we all need the vacation to power up for a new year!”.
So we sat down and brainstormed together for steps to take.
There are a lot of things you can do to help your (grand)child to feel less anxious and stressed when starting a new year of school. First of all every person is different and needs different things and also experience stress or anxiety in different ways.
The Steps We Took
We made a 6 step plan to work with:
- So the first thing we wrote done is to talk to her and try by asking questions to find out what is really making her nervous.
- The second thing we wrote done is to take it seriously no matter what the issue is. To give her the feeling that we understand and are going to find a solution.
- The third thing is to confront her, in a nice manner, with her behaviour and finding out if she liked the way she acts.
We had some expectations of the outcome. For example we expected there would be tears.
- So the fourth thing we wrote done was to comfort her when crying.
- The fifth thing is to be aware of not making the conversation too long and thereby too heavy.
- The sixth is, if talking would not work then try to make a sort of game which we could use to get some answers.
The 5 Solutions
After we found the issues that were making her so nervous we were able to work on some solutions. Again we made a plan and we used the 5 solutions below to help her and her daughter to feel less anxious and stressed:
The first solution was that before going to sleep we talked about the 3-5 nice/happy things that happened that day. We wrote them down in a notebook 📓 (see below for the notebook we bought)
- The first solution was that before going to sleep we talked about the 3-5 nice/happy things that happened that day. We wrote them down in a notebook 📓 (see below for the notebook we bought)
- The second solution was that we made the deal that we would sit down and prepare for that first day at school 2 weeks before school starts
- The third solution was to make a daily planner and write down what we were going to do that day.
- The fourth solution was that we thought about some DIY projects we could do together to prepare for school
- The fifth was that we ordered some personalized school stuff, that made her even excited, because she could show off her unique stuff to her friends.
I think it is especially important to take anxiety very serious. The daughter of my friend was very afraid that we would say, get over it or don’t be silly, she was surprised that we understood her and looked for a solution. Eventhough her mother is a very understanding person, she still was afraid about her reaction. So she didn’t talk about it and reflected it with her (bad) behaviour.
After we talked about it, it went much better. After making all those commitments and plans she went back to being her own sunny self.
In the last two weeks we tidied her room, we made some cool DIY school items and we ordered some neat school stuff that made her feel special and confident to tackle that first day.
I am happy that I could be part of this experience and use it with my own children who don’t have that level of anxiety. I still learned a lot and it helped me with my own children as well.
Below I will share my Back to School collection which I made with this experience in mind.
Please Share and Comment, Thank you so much!
Please let me know in the comments if this post was helpful to you! If you have more tips or tricks that could help a (grand)mother with an anxious child or teen, please share below and lets help each other to feel more confident and happy!
With love Saskia