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Counselors offer advice to help children with school-anxiety

Posted: 7:00 PM, Aug 08, 2018
Updated: 2018-08-08 20:00:26-04

School is back in session in parts of Acadiana, and tomorrow more students will be heading back to class.

With the new school year beginning some children will face higher rates of anxiety.

“Anxiety is the fear of what is unknown. Signs and symptoms that you’ll see in kids is a lack of flexibility. They have a lot more irritability, a lot more you know emotional outbursts,” said Licensed Professional Counselor & Registered Play Therapist Amy Romero.

Parents can help their children by going over what happened during the day, asking them what was good about their day, and talking about what the next day looks like.

Tabitha Carranza is a licensed profession counselor and a mom of four children. She says structure is key.

“We do bedtime routine, we start going to bed earlier. I kinda know when they’re gonna have a nap at school. I have a kindergartener, and so I give them a rest time about that same time. We do lunch at the same time. I try to do the routine of the school,” explained Carranza.

Some children will experience increased social anxiety at school like who will play with them at recess, bullying, or exclusion.

That’s where a strong connection between parent and child can go a very long way.

“And, so when they have a really good relationship, they know how to set boundaries with people, set boundaries within themselves, within that parent child relationship. The parent is the secure base, and so they promote and support their children being able to go out and make friends, but then if something happens they’re also that safe-haven. And, so children know that they can be supported when things go wrong,” explained Romero.

But, counselors say that a parent should give their kids a little room instead of “hovering,” or being too involved.

“If they’re already feeling nervous or scared, and mommy looks nervous or scarred, they’re gonna be more nervous or scared. Make it short and sweet, and then if you have to go into the car and cry that’s ok. Or go into the car and get some ice cream for breakfast, that’s ok too,” remarked Carranza.