Calming Back-to-School Anxiety: 3 Simple Scripts

My school anxiety started in 4th grade with Mrs. Hitt (yes that was her real name).  She was taut like a rope, spoke with a crisp voice, and held very strict boundaries.

I was a good listener and never caused trouble in class, yet every day I went home and cried because I felt so much pressure/anxiety/overwhelm.  Whenever a parent tells me about their kids’ school anxiety, I remember my own tears and knotted stomach.

Fortunately, you care about kids’ emotional well being.  May these 3 practical strategies and scripts that calm anxiety empower you and your child! 🌟

Strategy 1: Acknowledge Your Child’s Emotions

This is your go-to move, anytime, anywhere. 

  • Give space for their feelings. Yep, they’re allowed to have them.
  • Ask yourself, "How’s my child feeling?" 'Worried,' 'scared,' 'nervous,' or 'sad'? 🤔
  • Say it back, "You seem a bit worried about this."

Remember, "defiant" or "stubborn" aren't feelings. Let them know you see their big emotions – it builds trust and a strong bond. 🤗

Strategy 2: Worst Case, Best Case, Likely Case

Imagine they’re prepping for a monster truck show – anxiety’s in gear. Here’s how to guide them:

  • Tell them, "I’m listening, I’m with you. What’s on your mind?" 👂
  • Explore the worst case together – reflect their thoughts. "You worry it's too loud, or you might get lost?" 
  • Talk about the best case – reflect positivity. "With headphones, it might not bother you at all." 
  • Now, the real deal. Ask, "What’s likely?" Mix of emotions: some annoying, lots of people, and surprises. Remind them, "We’re learning and practicing together.

Strategy 3: "Roses and Thorns" Debrief

After any event:

  • Ask, "What wasn’t great?" 🥀
  • Then, "What was good?" 🌹

It's not about lessons, just a reflective chat. Engaging with your child in this way helps them process feelings and experiences in a healthy way.

Remember, you're not alone in this journey. Let's empower your sensitive superstar together!




Samantha Moe, M.A. SLP
Certified Parent Coach
Creator, Mad to Glad Blueprint ™
Professional training to support intense kids and their families

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