“Mom, I got called on in class today. I was anxious and unable to answer any of the questions even though I knew all of the answers.”
If this is your child, what do you do? Don’t panic! There are solutions, but we must find the root of the issue first.
Are they overwhelmed?
Are they afraid of getting the wrong answer?
Are they thinking that everyone is looking at them and others will laugh or bully them later?
Could they be ashamed to tell you because they are afraid of disappointing you?
School safety concerns/shootings
Since the start of covid19, we are seeing more and more children display anxiety. It could be from going back to in-person classrooms, the social aspects of in-person classes, the numerous distractions in a classroom, school safety or even graduating and heading to college. All of this is necessary for children’s socialization and development. You go to school to learn and make friends and you’re supposed to feel safe, but that isn't the case anymore and it begs the question "How do we help our kids thrive in school?"
Have you asked your child if they feel safe going to school? As a family therapist, I hear kids talk about their fears and anxieties and they are more terrified than ever before.
Having a place you can return to and feel safe is top priority. It is important for you and your children to talk about their fears before they turn into full blown panic attacks or a withdrawn student who is failing in school. No matter how you approach these topics, the most important part is that you have the discussions and work to find a solution.
Anxiety is a difficult thing and for some of us it never goes away. I believe that working with mindfulness exercises can help a child to empower themselves and will give them more control as they go into adulthood.
Multiple studies show that anxiety changes our breathing. I use various tools that help put a stop to anxiety. Learning calm and controlled breathing techniques gives kids a safe place to go to when anxiety hits. I have taught for over 20 years and when children have control of their anxiety, they see strength within themselves and are able to be more confident and proud.
Attached you will find 2 tools that I use regularly with children and adults during therapy sessions. Many of my past clients continue to use these tools and even teach it to their friends and family.
The power to work with your mind belongs to all. Success belongs to those who desire more.