Anxiety and depression are strengthening between our iGen (born between 2000 and 2013) and our Alpha Gen (born after 2013). The school setting can bring unique problems for a child with anxiety, especially if their fear pattern is social anxiety. Sometimes estimated as “performance-related” anxiety, children expressing social anxiety are often produced by both the social demands of the school environment and the demands of productivity within the classroom. The five recommendations below can help you and the school create “safe havens” within the highly social school center, supporting your child’s anxiety before it becomes a way to get out of school or worse:
1- Meet with teachers and school at the first sign of restlessness. Don’t let the problem escalate to join the teacher. As soon as your child starts dodging school or noticing a problem, talk to teachers to push strategies in time. Doing this can help prevent the most serious dropout events.
2- Develop tactics with teachers to use in the classroom environment. Many anxious children are unleashed by typical make-up requests. Apply with the teacher to introduce some strategies that lessen the potential negative impact of classes.
3- Join the student with peers who support and calm him/her. Enable non-spoken signs to use with the child to analyze when the teacher is going to call the child. Anticipate changes in practice in advance. Establish “safe zones” for the child to use during recess and/or snack. It is easy for a child with anxiety to be unleashed by the noise and energy of peers during snack or recess. If this is a start for your child, apply with the school to establish alternate places for your child to go. Working in another class and using the library often goes very well for anxious children.
4- Place “faithful” people in the school to serve as your child’s counselors. While schools can be a great start for anxious children, they also provide great opportunities for children to apply and develop their social skills and coping skills. Get help from someone at the school your child trusts to support him or her in exercising and managing social struggles at school.
5- Confirm that the living environment is reliable and safe. As fundamental as it is to alleviate the likely harmful impact of the school environment for children with anxiety, it is important to mention that everything starts at home. It ensures that the home is a serene and reliable environment as it can establish a foundation of trust that can protect the anxious child. Children who show extreme shyness and social anxiety behavior may have problems at school during social events. Following these suggestions and adapting them to your particular orientation can go a long way towards supporting these children and progressing their outcomes. Social anxiety conflict does not have to dominate a child’s life. Providing reliable shelters can help your child discover the harmony needed to manage his or her anxieties.