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© 2019 by Carolina Gaviria, LMHC, NCC, CEDS



As kids get ready to start a new school year some of them wait with excitement and nervousness to see their friends, meet their teachers and have fun, others struggle with severe anxiety about going back to school, feel overwhelmed with the academic demands of the year ahead and socializing seems excruciating.

Here are 3 ways to support your child on the first week of school and throughout the school year:

  1. Just listen. Allow you children or teens to share their feelings about going back to school and validate their fears. When children and teens get anxious, they often think that they are “the only ones who feel that way”. Sometimes they take it as far as to think that they are "messed up" and everyone else is strong and confident. As you know this isn’t true. Share perhaps a story of your first day of school or something you did for the first time that created anxiety for you, how you managed that situation and the outcome.

  2. Help your children to problem solve. Find out what th...

Everyone feels anxious now and then. It’s a normal emotion that we all experience. For example, we may feel nervous when faced with a problem at work or school, before taking a test, or before making an important decision. This sense of anxiety is described by many as “butterflies” in their stomach and can sometimes make us feel nauseous and even prevent us from eating or feel hungry. It is important to learn to become aware of our own feelings and how they feel in our bodies to be able to know the difference between physical fullness and emotional fullness and how anxiety affects us.

Emotional fullness is when you feel full of emotions but don’t recognize them. You just simply feel full. This physical sensation isn’t the result of something you just ate and might be accompanied by other physical sensations that don’t allow you to eat or enjoy your meal. Some kids and teens might complain about “a stomach ache” when they are nervous. Allowing them to talk about their emotions and make s...

Bullies can be very intimidating and affect kids and teens in many ways. They may lose sleep or feel sick and try to make excuses to skip school, but sometimes the biggest bullies they have live in their own heads.  Negative self-talk can be very intimidating and abusive. Those negative comments leave emotional scars that impact our self-concept and self-esteem, increase the risk for anxiety and depression and affect the way we show up in relationships. Our self- confidence and even our dreams and hopes can be impacted, keeping us small and afraid.

When those bullies that live in our kids heads are loud and mean, it’s difficult to hear other voices; voices of compassion, hope, excitement and faith. We can recognize that bully because it uses very negative language. They can say things like “I’ll never fit in”, “I’m so awkward”, “I’m stupid”, “I’m fat”. That inner bully tends to judge them when they make mistakes or are there to remind them of what they’re lacking, still struggle with, o...

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