school anxiety

How to Get From Panicked to Positive This School Year

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This school year has many logistical challenges, but it also has psychological ones. Many kids -- and parents -- are feeling anxious if not downright nervous with all the unknowns of class during COVID.

But what if you could flip that feeling of panic to a positive perspective?

Renowned family physician and resiliency expert Dr. Deborah Gilboa, or Dr. G. as she is known, says there are ways to send our kids off, whether virtually or in the classroom , with the tools they need.

Resiliency

In some ways what we experienced with the shutdown of schools last spring will help us.

Dr. Gilboa says, "More kids are looking forward to going back to school, whatever that means, than really ever before even as we are seeing higher rates of back-to-school anxiety among kids and parents and teachers."

"So, we can take advantage of the fact that they are experiencing both good and bad emotions and teach them this really important resiliency skill, which is that you can feel different, sometimes opposite, feelings at the same time and that can help you to move forward," she says.

Structure vs. Routine

Dr. Gilboa says it's important not to confuse structure with routine.

Routine is doing the same thing in the same place at the same time. That, she says, might be out the window thanks to the pandemic.

Structure, on the other hand, is having certain anchor moments throughout the day that look or feel the same.

Parents can still pull those moments off, according to Dr. G.

Silver Lining

One thing to hold onto, says Dr. G., is the fact that this generation of youth will have gone through a prolonged, difficult period of time as children and seen how their parents handled it.

They will take with them strategies on how to cope with tough times and strategies if they face difficulty later in life.

Click above for more on Dr. G.'s interview with Mom2Mom's Maria Sansone.

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