The run-up to the start of the next school year has been unbelievably stressful for parents. Are our kids going back to the classroom? If so, is it safe? If not, how can we possibly get through another full year of remote learning? (Here are some tips.)
Our kids are feeling it, too. For months they’ve stayed away from friends and battled Zoom fatigue, all with the distant promise of things returning to some degree of normalcy in the fall school sessions. Now those sessions are just around the corner and our children are either not going back, or “back” looks nothing like what they expected.
Worried your kiddo might have some anxiety heading into the new year? Here are five signs to look out for.
1. They’re grumpy.
If you notice as the school year creeps up (or swings into full gear) that your children are “acting out, yelling or being defiant” those can be clues that they’re actually grappling with some real anxiety, Dr. Mary Ellen Renna, a pediatrician with ProHEALTH Care told HuffPost. In younger kids, you might notice more tantrums or meltdowns.
There’s a good biological reason for it. As the Child Mind Institute’s website explains: “Anxiety manifests in a surprising variety of ways in part because it is based on a physiological response to a threat in the environment, a response that maximizes the body’s ability to either face danger or escape danger. So while some children exhibit anxiety by shrinking from situations or objects that trigger fears, some react with overwhelming need to break out of an uncomfortable situation. That behaviour, which can be unmanageable, is often misread as anger or opposition.”
2. Their routines are way, way off.
Between the pandemic and summer, children everywhere are really off their typical schedules — and that’s pretty normal.
But if you’re finding that your child’s routines and preferences seem dramatically different, that’s something to pay attention to.
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