Back to school can be stressful for some children
Key facts reported from data published by the NHS in 2018 showed that one in eight (12.8%) 5 to 19 year olds had at least one mental disorder when their assessment was carried out in 2017.*
At this time of year as our children start to go back to school it can be a particularly stressful time for them. So it may be a good idea to find some time to check in on any child in your care.
Start by noticing their behaviour, ask yourself are there any changes to the way they normally act?
Look out for any of these behaviours
· Struggling to concentrate
· Having difficulty sleeping
· Changing their eating habits
· Showing anger or irritability
· Feeling tense or fidgeting
· Feeling unwell or having a tummy ache
· Change in behaviour, tantrums etc
If your child is displaying any of these then they may be feeling anxious or stressed. They may have difficulty understanding their emotions, after all they are new at figuring out their feelings and they don’t always know how to handle them. This is where you can help, by speaking to them about it.
Here are my tips for when speaking to your child
· Find a time when you know you won’t be disturbed
· It’s essential for you to remain in control
· Stay calm & mindful when speaking
· Use age appropriate words
· Ensure your child feels safe
· Give them time to express their feelings
· Remind them that any feelings they have are only temporary
· Pay attention to physical symptoms, you may need to see your GP
· Pay attention to any concerns they have, what you may think trivial, a child can think it’s catastrophic.
If your child feels understood and listened to any feelings of stress and anxiety should start to subside.
If you continue to feel concerned about their behaviour then always consult with your GP or health advisor.