HASTINGS – With school getting underway, the South Heartland District Health Department wants parents, school faculty, and kids, to focus on mental health during back to school time.
Stress and anxiety rises during back to school times as changes happen to both the parents and kids schedules. Some tips to reduce the stress is to get your appointments and paperwork done as soon as possible. Making sure the kid is on a good sleep schedule. Also try to have good family connections, like having family dinners five days a week or more or giving kids a few chores to do so they feel needed and are contributing in the home.
Susan Lindblad, a psychologist for Hastings Public Schools, says making an after school routine for your child can help alleviate the anxiety.
What do I expect my kids to do when they get home after school? Is that some downtime, like thirty minutes of play time? And then do they need to start their school work? Where do they put their materials when they get home so I can see them? And I think it really does make the kids feel happy when their parents look at their work and they can show some pride in what they’ve done and talk about what they’ve learned. And then maybe just organize your space so the kiddos know where am I going to be working on homework. Young children might need a parent close by to supervise and help with some homework.
Some signs and symptoms of anxiety and stress in children and teenagers are regressive behaviors like bed wetting, tantrums, or crying.
They may also complain about physical symptoms like headaches and stomach aches or changes in sleep and appetite. Lindblad says, most of the time, the kids can work through these issues with proper support. But never be hesitant to talk to the kids teachers or counselors at school.