Have you ever thought about how easy children have it? They don’t pay bills. They never have to make life or death decisions. It’s nothing like being an adult.
If only things were that easy.
Adults sometimes forget what it’s like to be a kid. We tend to minimize their feelings and brush off anxiety in certain situations. “Oh, it’s just nerves. It’ll go away. You’ll be fine.” Starting school, or going back is a huge transition. Getting used to a new teacher’s rules, a school schedule, and hoping to make friends would be challenging for me and I’m an old lady. Imagine what it has to feel like for a little kid!
In fact, when Ayva started kindergarten two years ago, I had no idea about how nervous she was. She’s such an outgoing, friendly little girl that I assumed she would be fine. We picked out her first day of school outfit, planned her hairstyle, and figured out what to pack for her lunch. Not once did I think to ask Ayva if she was scared. When it came up in conversation a few weeks later, I was shocked. She said that she had been worried that no one would like her, and was concerned that she wouldn’t know where to go or what to do.
That’s why it’s helpful to have a partner who will help you to be in tune with your child’s mental well-being. Parents can get busy, and then we overlook certain things. A thoughtful and engaged medical professional can remind you to slow down and listen to what your child is going through as they’re transitioning into a new school year. Most of the time it’s just butterflies, but sometimes it can be deeper than that, and your little one needs you to be able to know the difference.
Stanford Children’s Health is a pediatric healthcare network with over 60 Bay Area locations. Part of their family-centered care approach is educating parents on topics pertaining to their children’s needs. A recent article on the Stanford Children’s Health site digs into General Anxiety Disorder (GAD), and gives parents tools on managing GAD in their children. Some of the tips include making sure they get enough rest, and giving them a preview or test run of what they can expect to ease some of the anxiety.
The most important piece of advice in helping your child work through GAD as they start a new school year, is to be a great model for them. Let your child see you remembering to breathe, and not losing it over tiny setbacks. Talk to them about perspective, and help them learn to discern the difference between a catastrophe and a small problem. Give them space if they need it. Give them grace, they will need it.
Your child can get through this. You can get through this. If you need help, check out Stanford Children’s Health in the Bay Area for support. Learn more about Stanford Children’s Health on their website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or YouTube.
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Stanford Children’s Health. The opinions and text are all mine.