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Helping Anxious Kids Successfully Start the New School Year by Parenting Survival Podcast

From Audio: PSP 082 : How to Help Anxious Kids Successfully Start the New School Year

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station description Offering you support through parenting a child with anxiety and/or OCD.
AT Parenting Survival Podcast: Parenting | Child Anxiety | Child OCD | Kids & Family
Duration: 05:32
Tip for dealing with your child’s anxiety at the start of a new school year.
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Tip for dealing with your child’s anxiety at the start of a new school year.
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lot of times you have a good summer and you're like, whoa, I don't want to talk about any potential problems because things are going good. So I'm not going to rock the boat, we're going to just, you know, cross our fingers and really hope that all this progress continues into the school year. I don't advise that. I know that sounds really weird, but be proactive, it is so much better to prepare your child and say, look, you're probably going to feel a little bit sick the first day of school. Um if that's the normal thing or look, you're probably gonna feel anxious the first day of school and then normalize it. That's normal. We all feel nervous the first week of school and it gets better over time, but I want you to know that that anxious feeling that you're going to have the first day of school is normal and everybody feels that. So let's talk about some of the things that you think might make you the most anxious have this conversation and get like a little bullet pointed list of all the things that they're worried about, You might be surprised that something might pop up that you hadn't thought about. Something might pop up. That is actually quite simple that you can fix. And so if you don't broach the subject and have a dialogue about it before you start school, you may be caught off guard and your child might be caught off guard because a lot of the kids I see, even in my practice will say no, I'm looking forward to school. I'm looking forward to school, it's gonna be great and I will say, and it sounds like, I mean therapist thing to do, I'll say, you know, it may not go great, it might be a little bumpy and that's ok. Yeah, Yeah. You might feel nauseous if that's their thing, your stomach might hurt. In fact, it probably will hurt the first day, It might even hurt the 2nd day. That's okay. That doesn't mean your anxiety is coming back full force and all your progress is gone. It just means like, yeah, when you're nervous and you're going through a change, your stomach's gonna hurt. So let's pretend that your stomach does hurt. How are we going to cope with that? What should we do the first day to help your stomach and then go through that. Listen to my other podcasts on how to deal with that and talk about it so that you have a plan. Yeah, you're gonna miss me the first day we're separating and I know you've done great all summer, but we haven't really been apart. Yeah, you went to your grandma's house but that's your grandma and you don't normally get nervous when you're at her house as much as you would if you're at school. So let's just assume you're going to be feeling pretty nervous the first day about separating, what can we do to help you through that. So then you're going to be proactive and you're going to see if your child says, well I'm not going to school, well, okay, now at least we know what it would have looked like and we're being proactive if they say, well I'm just gonna call you or I'll just go to the nurse, well we don't really want to start off the school year that way. So now we can be problem solving and we can come up with some solutions. So my first point is be realistic, be proactive. And my second point, which really is very much like my first point is also have some good expectations by good. I don't mean good. I mean realistic. So yeah, you're about to hit a bump if you are about to go to school and if you don't, I had quite a few people that I see in my practice where we were preparing for a big bump and then they emailed me and they said, hey Natasha, no bump made me feel good because I was like, I did really good therapy over the summer, no bump. But with those kids in my practice, I would say school is gonna be a bumpy and I would say to the parents, uh you know, I know things have been going great, but please expect a bump, we're gonna have some bumps here, you know, strap in because it's about to get bumpy, but when you prepare for that and it doesn't happen, it's like this great feeling like, oh my gosh like where the bumps, but when you're not expecting it, never been driving on the road and you hit a pothole or something and you didn't see it coming and it jars you and you're like, whoa, like your neck gets thrown out because you just weren't expecting it and your heart's beating a little fast because it kind of startled you. But if there's a sign that says bump ahead, bump ahead, slow down sometimes, it's actually annoying because by the time you get to the bump, you're like, seriously, did you need that many signs to warn me about that one little bump? But you did because you were prepared, you were expecting this massive bump. So that's the philosophy behind my, you know, keep your expectations in check. And even if they're pretty pretty at level, lower them just a little bit. Trust me, it helps. Okay, third point is I want you to role play out with your child or problems solved with your child. Any and all issues they are thinking they might have. Now you might have to go through the initial uh rabbit hole type of questioning that I talked about a lot. You know, what's the worst thing about blah, blah blah was the worst thing about this because some kids might say um I don't even want to go to school school is boring. So now you're not really having a very productive conversation. So then you might have to say stuff like I know and empathize. I always say this to my kids like I know, yeah, school sucks. I totally get it, but you know, it's not my, it's not my deal. It's like societies deal like you have to go, so let's just move past that. All right. We both acknowledge. Yeah, school sucks. Moving on. So what's the worst part about the first week? Or what's the worst part about going back? And if they don't give you much, just keep pulling that string and seeing if you can get some more traction once you.
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