Don’t reinforce the child’s fears. A Guide for Helping Children Manage Anxiety at School. This section of Anxiety in the Classroom includes resources for school personnel that may be involved in helping to identify or manage kids with anxiety or OCD in the school setting. Here is 10 suggestions of how to help a child with anxiety in the classroom: Talking/explaining: discuss and explain the situation to the child It is an automatic response from our nervous system and can often feel like our emotions are out of control. Therefore, parents need to be alert on how your child is anticipating the start of school, especially for kids transiting from kindergarten to Primary 1 and young adults transiting from primary to secondary school. Many children experience anxiety in the classroom or at home. Anxiety is a primary human emotion. Sometimes school anxiety is easy to identify — like when a child is feeling nervous before a test at school. You want to listen and be empathetic, help her understand what she’s anxious about, and encourage her to feel that she can face her fears. Tip 2: Have them take a break from the class and go outside, Tip 3: Help them understand what anxiety is, Tip 5:  Try the walking and talking method, Tip 6: Spread the gratitude with a positive attitude, Tip 7: Dedicate part of your class or create a space where kids can exteriorize their anxiety, Tip 8: Respect what they feel, acknowledge but don’t empower their anxiety. It’s not uncommon for students who learn and think differently to also struggle with anxiety.They might worry a lot or be withdrawn at school. Assistance in the Classroom. Offer a space in the classroom or a “cool-down pass” … Additionally, she owns a private practice where she provides neuropsychological evaluation for children and adults, and treatment for mood disorders, anxiety, couple therapy, among other conditions. When children engage with caring teachers and other students, they acquire valuable experiences that help them grow socially and behaviorally - as well as academically. eval(ez_write_tag([[468,60],'optimistminds_com-box-3','ezslot_6',130,'0','0']));According to Goodbyeanxieyhellojoy.com, “anxiety is an illness impacting 32 percent of children, yet nearly 80 percent of those children do not receive any treatment. Then Repin to your own inspiration board so others can too! According to Jill Kiedaish from Weareteachers.com, “many teachers will include glitter jars, headphones, books, or other items to help kids take a break and decompress. For a child however, especially those who have difficulty coping with the expectations put on them, it can be quite stressful, causing anxiety as the days approach. We suggest that parents give hugs and love and say their good byes at the door. While your brain is busy creating positive thoughts stemming from gratitude, it is incapable of producing negative thoughts at the same time. Focus on forming a positive relationship with this student and begin offering support to help the child manage their anxiety. According to the Child Mind Institute, children can struggle with: But how to recognize the symptoms or signs of an anxious child? The ultimate goal here is to manage their anxiety and not eliminate it, not removing the stressors from them or them away from the stressors but learning how to tolerate their anxiety. 5 Calming Phrases to Help An Anxious Child and 2 Phrases You Should Never Say. Another great idea to help a child with autism and school anxiety is to spend time in the classroom together. eval(ez_write_tag([[300,250],'optimistminds_com-box-4','ezslot_1',133,'0','0']));A great idea is to ask them to keep a “gratitude journal” and the idea is to “record at least one thing they were thankful for. Managing Your Child’s Anxiety. Why is this blog about “How to help a child with anxiety in the classroom” important? If a child is feeling anxious in the classroom make sure they practice deep breathes and slow their breathing completely down. The most important thing you can do as a teacher recognizes that your student is struggling with anxiety. Anxiety from Being Away from Home (and how to deal with it), Anxiety from Being Bored (And How to Cope With it), Anxiety from Being Hungry (Tips on How to Cope). 5. If you notice one of the kids is struggling to cope with anxiety in the classroom, try not to put them on the spot or taking them outside. Other ways to ease anxiety in children. When teachers and parents are aware and trained in providing various interventions, you can take a proactive approach to managing anxiety. If you can teach them how to trigger positive thoughts, in some cases you can distract them from their anxiety. That’s the only way we can improve. Try getting them to exercise or stretch a bit in between. The message you want to send is, “I know you’re scared, and that’s okay, and I’m here, and I’m going to help you get through this.”. The potential causes of anxiety are numerous. That’s why phrases like “relax”, "cut it out" or “calm down” aren’t always going to help. A quick scan of some articles (coupled with my own observations and experience) reveal many possible contributors including recent news/world events, the pressures of social media, trauma, poverty, increased academic expectations, pressures from anxious families as well as biological and genetic predispositions. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about “How to help a child with anxiety in the classroom”. This is because slowing your breathing also helps to slow down your brain. Allow a few minutes at the beginning of the day for the child to transition into the school day. eval(ez_write_tag([[250,250],'optimistminds_com-medrectangle-4','ezslot_2',132,'0','0']));Express and communicate confidence that they are going to be ok and that they actually have the power to manage it. Some of the common signs of anxiety in a child are: u003cbru003eu003cbru003eInsomnia or trouble falling asleepu003cbru003eFear of being left aloneu003cbru003ePicking at their skinu003cbru003eNail-bitingu003cbru003eThey jump or startle too easyu003cbru003eBeing overly Self-criticalu003cbru003eObsessive-compulsive behaviors such as checking and rechecking that the door is locked or arranging objects in perfect order, among others. For example, telling children dealing anxiety to calm down only heightens their anxiety as they become frustrated that they cannot simply “calm down”. Do not worry about having the magic potion to eliminate a child’s anxiety. Please feel free to comment in the comments section below! Calming activities, such as, reading or listening to music may help to alleviate some of the physical symptoms and allow a child to return to class work after a period of time. This can be providing five to ten minutes for the child to prepare their papers … 5 ways to manage anxiety in your class. Many anxious children struggle internally without actually seeking help from the classroom teacher. Deep breathing is a great way to manage anxiety; it activates the parasympathetic nervous system, which makes us feel calm. Anxiety is part of our lives and it is a normal sensation so try not depicting anxiety as something they should definitely get rid of. See my top recommendations here, as well as a full list of all products and services our team has tested for various mental health conditions and general wellness.eval(ez_write_tag([[250,250],'optimistminds_com-large-mobile-banner-1','ezslot_9',151,'0','0'])); According to youngminds.org.uk, there are some things that can help your child with school anxiety: u003cbru003eu003cbru003e Tackle it early: the longer the anxiety about school persists, the deeper and more difficult to manage it becomes. How to help a child with anxiety in the classroom? If you see one of the kids in your classroom is struggling with anxiety, you can take the class and continue outside. The key is to model it after what works for you and your classroom.”. If you notice one of your students struggling with anxiety, deep breathing exercises can help. There are several ways you can implement to reduce anxiety in the classroom, for instance, you can teach your student’s breathing techniques, manage to start or end your class outside, get them to think positive by using a gratitude journal, remind them to eat healthily and stay well, get them to exercise or stay active, among other things. Classrooms can be an overwhelming experience due to the number of people, constant noise, many transitions, etc. Anxiety is more than feeling stressed or worried. Help them understand and name the feeling, trying to help them identify possible causes for their anxiety. This is an update of a post originally from A Special Sparkle. In fact, understanding anxiety, how it affects and presents itself in students, and how you can help a child with anxiety in the classroom, will actually decrease the amount of time you spend dealing with behaviors. The Child Mind Institute gives us a great example as follows:eval(ez_write_tag([[250,250],'optimistminds_com-banner-1','ezslot_7',154,'0','0'])); “So if a child is terrified about going to the doctor because she’s due for a shot, you don’t want to belittle her fears, but you also don’t want to amplify them. Also, remember it is important to listen and understand a child’s anxiety but we need to avoid feeding their anxiety and making it worse. Rather than singling out your anxious student, get the whole class involved. Side Note: I have tried and tested various products and services to help with my anxiety and depression. This response shuts down the frontal cortex (the area of the brain used for rational thought and decision making) and engages the amygdala (the area of the brain used for survival)”. Anxiety presents in a variety of contexts within the classroom setting, but is often silent. When his students seemed overwhelmed by negativity or mired in anxiety, he’d encourage them to reread their journals.”, according to Elementary school teacher Karen Nelson, also Senior Editor at Weareteachers.com. Provide cool-down spaces in the classroom or “cool-down passes” for a quick break; The sights and sounds of a classroom can quickly become overwhelming for someone struggling with anxiety. Having another disorder is most common in children with depression: about 3 in 4 children aged 3-17 years with depression also have anxiety (73.8%), and almost 1 in 2 have behavior problems (47.2%). How can you reduce anxiety in the classroom? If you notice one of the kids is struggling to cope with anxiety in the classroom, try not to put them on the spot or taking them outside. Your class shouldn’t just be about copying from a whiteboard and asking questions. Think things through with the child. Whether you are a teacher, school nurse, counselor, or other faculty, Anxiety in the Classroom can serve as an effective tool for you! Repetitive actions can also help to calm an anxious child. I Work in the School System. This can help distract them from their worries. Unfortunately, when children start to associate school with negative feelings of frustration, anxiety , or isolation, it can lead to situations where they refuse to attend classes. Anxiety and Mental Health Problems: Anxiety is at an All-Time High. Instead, you can do some breathing exercises in front of the whole class and engaging all of your students.eval(ez_write_tag([[250,250],'optimistminds_com-medrectangle-3','ezslot_4',131,'0','0']));eval(ez_write_tag([[250,250],'optimistminds_com-medrectangle-3','ezslot_5',131,'0','1'])); The key is slowing their breathing and taking deep breaths while slowly exhaling the air. Your email address will not be published. If a child is feeling anxious in the classroom make sure they practice deep breathes and slow their breathing completely down. How can I help my child with school anxiety? Usually student anxiety observed in children and teens from kindergarten to 12th grade manifests in three different forms: school refusal, test anxiety and social anxiety. Being out of the normal classroom environment can help to calm an anxious brain. All of these ideas are ways to help children with school anxiety begin their school day with less anxiety. We have discussed what anxiety is, how to recognize it and many strategies so your children can stop struggling with anxiety and instead, understand and acknowledge it exists and how to tolerate and manage it. Here is a useful article on how to practice mindfulness with belly breathing. With exercise comes the release of endorphins which are known to boost our mood and make us feel happy. Practice Deep Breathing Techniques. If there is a student that needs your attention more than the rest, try the walk and talk method. Set Clear Expectations Let Your Child Worry Avoid Avoidance Practice Reframing Help Them Build a Coping Kit Get Back to Basics Empathize Often When childhood anxiety is heightened, it’s natural for parents to go into protection mode. This will serve 3 main purposes, it will distract them from the situation, they will have a chance to explain what is going on in their own words and it will get the blood pumping so their anxiety can be reduced significantly. One anxiety strategy for children is to teach them how to slow down and steady their breathing. They may hesitate to participate in the classroom, make frequent trips to the bathroom or the nurse’s office, or even refuse to … But, agreeing to it can actually feed their fear. While it can be challenging to identify what is anxiety, remember that most classroom behaviors stem from a root cause. Breathing the cool air, or making time to notice chirping birds can also calm an over-active worrier. “How to help a child with anxiety in the classroom?” is a question that most teachers ask themselves. It is important to differentiate between validating and agreement. Here are a few things to remember when your child feels anxious. One of the physical side-effects of anxiety or fear is the shallowness of breath. She has vast experience in working with children with disabilities, adolescents and their families, in extreme conditions of poverty and vulnerability. Other times anxiety in the classroom can look like something else entirely — an upset stomach, disruptive or angry behavior, ADHD, or even a learning disorder. Also, help them recognize the fears that are unrealistic and help them face those that are real such as the possibility of failing a test. These three branches of student anxiety can be caused by any number of factors and are usually a sign of a deeper anxiety … The techniques needed aren’t exhaustive but can be very useful if you have a classroom of students who need help with coping with their anxiety. Knowing these keys aspects of how to help a child with anxiety in the classroom will make your job more successful while ensuring that your students are emotionally and academically empowered. Safe Person: this can be anyone in the school who can provide an understanding and calming presence for the student, someone who understands the student's worries and anxieties is best. Here are, The most important thing you can do as a teacher recognizes that your student is struggling with anxiety. Well, here we name some of them: Here we will present some tips that can help you as a teacher to help a child with anxiety in the classroom. There are many different kinds of anxiety that can manifest in the classroom, which is one of the reasons that makes it difficult to identify. Be aware of physical symptoms of anxiety and provide activities to distract the child. teach your child to recognise signs of anxiety in themselves; encourage your child to manage their anxiety and ask for help when they need it; children of all ages find routines reassuring, so try to stick to regular daily routines where possible As they face their fears then the anxiety will be reduced over time. Another strategy is having students take time to acknowledge their phobias and anxieties. Get some advice on strategies and how to deal with your child’s anxiety. In Clinical Neuropsychology from Bangor University. Side Note: I grew this blog to over 500,000 monthly pageviews and it now finances our charitable missions. Physical activity can help burn energy and the adrenalin created by anxiety. Recognizing and being aware that a child in your classroom is feeling anxious can help us to do an early intervention in helping them and teaching certain techniques or strategies to manage their anxiety. You can set up a routine of a couple of easy exercises to get them moving, also you can alternate it with a game to motivate them to complete the exercises. Avoid child choice in a classroom when groups are being formed, teachers can appoint or use ‘counting off' or some other technique to eliminate the ‘last person chosen' situation. Log in, Anxiety is an illness impacting 32 percent of children, yet nearly 80 percent of those children do not receive any treatment. This will naturally calm the physical side effects of anxiety. 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