TORONTO, ON – With the school year almost here, one organization’s CEO has some ideas to help parents ease their kids back into school routines.
Kimberly Moran, the CEO of Children’s Mental Health Ontario, has written an article called “FROM THE PARENTING TRENCHES – BACK TO SCHOOL TIPS FOR YOUR ANXIOUS TEEN”.
The article shares personal details noting that her own daughter has anxiety and “when things are spiraling out of control Obsessive Compulsive Disorder creeps in as well.”
Moran said that this year is a challenging one because her daughter is going into grade 12, and needs to maintain a certain average to get into a university program.
Using her own and her daughter’s experience, Moran shared a series of tips for parents to try as a way to reduce the anxiety your teenager might have headed into the new school year.
Pulling from her own family, Moran recommends turning phones off an hour before bed, meditation, and having family dinners every night to touch base and see how everyone is feeling.
She also suggests that once the homework starts coming in to implement a dedicated time for homework where phones are out of reach. The timing she uses is 50 minutes on, 10 minutes off three times than an hour break after that if there is still work to be done.
Still talking about homework, Moran says that you can plan a homework schedule. That way the child can keep track of the various deadlines and still be able to plan time for socializing.
Another way to help your child with anxiety, Moran says, is to acknowledge it. She says that every child feels anxious about school at some point and that is normal, and needed.
Again touching on what has worked for her daughter, she says that her psychiatrist recommended a scheduled “worry time”.
Worry time is when someone schedules a set amount of time each day where they write down or talk about the things that you find worrisome. As well the scheduled time means that individuals can train themselves to acknowledge what is worrying them but put it out of mind until the next worry time.
The idea is the more someone does that, the easier it becomes to control when and where they worry.
Moran’s other suggestions are to help the child resist the urge to make themselves too busy, remind them of activities they can do to take a quick break, and remind them of their other successes.
Moran said “ remember that as a parent, we need to stay calm. Kids pick up anxiety quickly, so when you feel yourself getting anxious apply some of the tips to yourself.”