Is your child struggling in school? Perhaps their anxiety is coming out in ways you can’t decipher, and you’re not sure what to do. Along with better understanding your child’s anxiety, here are some incredible solutions to help your child thrive in school and not fear it.

school anxiety solutions for kids

How to mentally and emotionally prepare your kids for school

Here on Word from the Bird, I love to address the mental and emotional side of parenting — check out Parents of Mentally Healthy Children do These 7 Things — and when it comes to your children and school, it’s important we understand what they are up against, and how we can mentally prepare them for what’s to come.

I’m not just talking about their first day of Kindergarten, but rather within each year of attending a new grade, we can to be proactive in equipping them with the tools they need to succeed.

As much of it includes you being apart of their school life — check out 5 Way to Help Your Son Succeed in School, it also includes you becoming aware of what’s happening within their specific grade, culturally and socially.

how to help your child with school anxiety

Helping your child cope with school anxiety

A middle schooler will be dealing with social and mental issues that are completely different than an elementary or high school student. All the more reason to educate yourself by doing research as to what kids are up against.

If you aren’t already aware, kids are being exposed to age inappropriate content within school premises.

In order to be on top of this, just check out Axis.org for the latest on what teens specifically are up against.

I’m sure you agree with me when I say, I wish I could protect my kids from everything. But we all know, that’s not life, and also not what’s best for them.

My advice is to prepare your children for the world they WILL grow up in, not for the one YOU want them to grow up in. So that’s what we have to do. Not create a bubble surrounding them that keeps all things safe and happy within it.

The idea is to prepare them with good communication from YOU, so that they will be prepared for the world they will eventually face.

Your child will be curious to the ways of life — it’s natural and human.

God equipped us as parents to foster that, and protect them, while also prepare them for the struggles and pain of life. Check out 5 Things Your Child Needs in Today’s Culture.

Along with creating a faith filled home environment for them, we have to teach them to go outside of that environment, yet still live out their faith and make wise choices.

That being said, we also can’t expect our children to be adults, or to make decisions that will always be correct.

The beauty of grace, God’s grace through His Son, is that it expects imperfection, yet brings us to repentance. If we teach our children that their mistakes do not define them, we can enable them to be transparent with us, as we are not dependant on them performing for us a fault free show.

How I wish parents would understand this, both within the Christian faith, or among other belief systems.

So many teen suicides are at the hand of us expecting educational and otherwise perfection from our kids. A symptom of our need for them to succeed. As the intention and origin of this desire is not in and of itself ill willed, it will bring your child to ruin.

It will also teach them to please you instead of pleasing God, or even become someone YOU want them to be, instead of who they truly are.

Now let’s discuss further how to prepare you child mentally and emotionally for the school days ahead. 

school anxiety helping kids

Educate yourself on what they are up against in their particular grade

Like I said, being aware of what’s happening in their school and specific grade is of utmost importance.

By doing this, you can discuss with them ahead of time what they might be encountering. If you need to have “the talk” with them, knowing they will probably be learning it from other kids that year, then do that.

It’s better coming from you, trust me.

dad talking to son

Be someone your kids can talk to about ANYTHING

I understand that even if you do your very best to foster an open and honest relationship with your kids, there will always be a hesitation from our children to share their hearts.

Even though I tell my son he can tell me ANYTHING and I won’t be mad at him, he still hesitates because it might be embarrassing, or because culture has made it out to be something you just don’t talk with your parents about.

But do your best to allow your children to share their heart with you — the good, the bad, and the ugly. When you start young with this concept, it will be only natural as they get older.

If you think your child would benefit from journaling, check out MY LIFE JOURNALS FOR KIDS – Boys and Girls Edition — journals you can print our form the convenience of your own home.

school anxiety and how to help your kids

Have a relationship with them they feel safe in

Along with what I said about allowing them to be themselves, this also means that you have to meet them here they are at relationally.

If they are at an age where they want to tell you a million times about what they built in Minecraft, then listen attentively. Just because it’s boring or inconvenient for you to be there, don’t let that affect your ability to be their admirers.

Kids SO desire for their parents to admire them, as they admire you. Use your words to affirm them in their skills. Tell them you love them and how proud you are of them. Spend time with them doing things they love.

As electronic devices, teachers, friends, and many other things attempt to influence our children, we need to be first in line to do the influencing. You children WILL be influenced by something. It’s better that it’s first and foremost done by you.

If you’re looking for a creative way to connect with your kids on a deeper level, check out this incredible dinner talk card game – OUR MOMENTS . Conversation starters that will resonate with your kids for emotional bonding and a great neutral way for them to open up to you. With questions like “If you were a superhero, who would you be?” and “Do you feel like you could tell me anything?” you will find yourself laughing and connecting as a family in a unique way.

teen addiction

Discuss the temptations they might face during their specific age

The single most devastating act of a parent is to make your child feel shame when they are tempted or do something that is not right.

There are two reactions to discovering your sin — you have a Godly sorrow, that is followed by repentance and freedom OR you feel shame for what you have done, turn inward and hide your sin even better next time.

All the more reason to address a child’s temptation and teach them that it’s not the temptation that is wrong, it’s following through with it.

It’s not wrong for your teen to be tempted to do something they shouldn’t, but it’s wrong for them to go the extra mile to give in. Then, if they do give in, we need to show them that it’s okay to fail. That they don’t need to feel shame, but take responsibility, and allow them to receive forgiveness from God and move on.

Living in freedom can only be experienced when your children realise who they are in Christ. They are forgiven, redeemed, and can live in that.

If you are being the standard by which they live by, then they will attempt to live by that and spend their entire life trying to please you. But when you can point them to Christ in their victories and failures, they can love themselves better, knowing that imperfection is a very real aspect and beauty of the gospel.

Positive parenting tools to help you be a better parent 

Check out my recommended books for parenting

When a child is old enough to start drawing, coloring, or writing, journaling is an incredible way to help your kids better express themselves in a free and comfortable way. Check out our Kid’s Printable Journals — created specifically to help children better express their feelings, encourage gratitude, and spark imagination. 

Implementing chores and structure in your child’s daily life is a VERY helpful tool to teach them follow through, discipline, and respect. We use this chore chart in our family to help our kids keep track of their own progress, and keep you from having to constantly remind them of their daily tasks. 

If you’re looking for something a bit more simple, this is also a good option. 

Connecting on a deeper level emotionally with your strong willed child is CRUCIAL, and sometimes more difficult. We play THIS GAME often in our family to create a safe space for our kids to feel free to share their questions and emotions, all without judgement. 

Summary:

Mentally preparing your child for school has a lot to do with the definition of your relationship with them. When a child’s home life is health, and their relationship with both parents is good, then they can take on the world, knowing you have their back, as well as knowing they are truly loved and accepted by God for who they are.

Build a relationship with your child that is meaningful. It’s NEVER too late.

Also, educate yourself on what your kids are up against in school. That way you can prepare your children fro what they might face, and know what to do about it.


Positive parenting tools for every parent 

Screen Time Protection and Teaching Moderation

I’ve recently partnered with Qustodio, a software to supervise, manage, and protect your child’s device use on the go. Use the code QUST10 at checkout at checkout for 10% off all premium plans. 

Screen Time Checklist Printable for Kids – FREE if you sign up for our weekly newsletter. Just fill out your info below. 

Book List for Kids and Parents

Check out my recommended books for parenting

Book list to teach kids about racial diversity. 

Journaling for Kids

When a child is old enough to start drawing, coloring, or writing, journaling is an incredible way to help your kids better express themselves in a free and comfortable way. Check out our Kid’s Printable Journals — created specifically to help children better express their feelings, encourage gratitude, and spark imagination. 

Chores for Kids Tools

Magnetized Chalk Chart for Fridge

Implementing chores and structure in your child’s daily life is a VERY helpful tool to teach them follow through, discipline, and respect. We use this chore chart in our family to help our kids keep track of their own progress, and keep you from having to constantly remind them of their daily tasks. 

If you’re looking for something a bit more simple, this is also a good option. 

Chore Chart Printable – Get it NOW from the convenience of your own printer

If you’re looking for something you can print out immediately and start implementing chores in your home today, check out this CHORE CHART PRINTABLE. With a Mandalorian theme, it makes for a lighthearted and fun way to encourage kids to do their daily and weekly “missions.”

Emotional Connectivity with Your Kids

Connecting on a deeper level emotionally with child is CRUCIAL, and sometimes more difficult. We play THIS GAME often in our family to create a safe space for our kids to feel free to share their questions and emotions, all without judgement. 

We even offer an “Exemption Time” for the duration of this game, where anything he tells us is off the table for consequences. 

Check out these other posts on emotional connectivity on the blog!

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Author

Hillary Gruener is a wife, mother, writer, and musician. If she's not at her desk writing content on family life, she's adventuring the world with her husband and two boys.

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