Managing Back-to-School Anxiety in Kids
Experts at Duke University recommend meditation-like techniques to help subside and eliminate feelings of anxiety in children who are nervous about going back to school. Dr. Michelle Bailey, a pediatrician at Duke Integrative Medicine states,”We need to teach kids how to handle stress in a healthy way”. Additionally, utilizing meditative techniques can help children sleep better, reduce anxiety and stay focused.
What types of techniques can be used? According to the experts at Duke, the following practices can help curb anxiety:
• Mindful breathing: Ask the child to take time in the morning and evening to pay attention to his or her breathing for 20 inhales and exhales. Steady breathing has a calming effect on the body.
• Mindful walking: After dinner, take a walk and pay attention to all the sights, sounds and colors. Encourage the child to use this technique on the playground and at school.
• Mindful listening: At the dinner table, ring a bell or play a note on a musical instrument to capture the family’s attention, then give each person a turn to speak about their day while the rest of the family gives their full attention, to encourage active listening.
To learn more about anxiety and its treatments, visit NorthShore University HealthSystem’s neuroscience department.