School anxiety is common in children going to preschool or daycare, and it’s not easy for parents to handle. A child might get upset when their parents drop them off or look worried when their mom leaves the building. It is a difficult time for a child. And one that they’re uncomfortable with because the environment can be very different from what they’re used to at home.
As a home daycare provider who assumes the responsibility of looking after the welfare of children and younger children, you must know how to help a child deal with the stress of being separated from their mom and the environment they’re used to.
Luckily, this article has six home daycare tips for helping preschoolers deal with school anxiety. But first, let us discover the common signs of school anxiety and the various symptoms they may display.
Signs of School Anxiety in Preschoolers
Anxiety can greatly affect a child’s well-being. So it’s important to be aware of these warning signs. And make sure a child’s anxiety is addressed as soon as possible.
- Change in Behavior
- Negative Thinking
- Sleep Problems
- Fear of Separation
- Startle Response
Suppose one of the children under your care is experiencing any of the above symptoms. In that case, it may be ideal to step in and help them properly and teach them a healthy way of dealing with their anxiety. And mend the anxious habits that they may be picking up from others.
6 Home Daycare Tips for Dealing With School Anxiety
While it is crucial to deal with a child’s school anxiety when possible, you might need extra help in dealing with it properly. Here are six pointers to help you address school anxiety in preschoolers:
Let The Child Express Their Discomfort
School anxiety can greatly affect a child’s behavior. If a young child is showing any signs of distress, be kind and accommodating to them, support the children as much as you can, and let them behave the way they want to so that they feel comfortable with being anxious.
Provide Affection As Much As Possible
Children naturally bond with adults and look to them as their role models in life. If a young child is anxious about going to a new environment, they’ll sometimes want to avoid those adults with whom they don’t normally get along and will turn to you. If this is the case, you must try and be there for them as much as possible – provide them with whatever affection they need so that they can associate you as their source of comfort.
Encouragement is Key
If a young child is showing signs of distress, encourage them to stay strong and smile. When a child is feeling scared about going to a new environment or leaving their familiar one, it can be easy for them to get anxious and anxious. However, if you provide reassurance with positive words – things like “it might get better” can help ease the child’s anxiety – this is also essential in dealing with school anxiety!
Avoid Being Overly Critical
School anxiety is a very common thing to happen, especially at the start of the school year. If you’re trying to get a child more comfortable with their new environment, you can try and avoid being critical of them when they’re showing signs of distress. The last thing you want to do is make them feel worse about themselves.
Provide Them With Engaging Activities
School anxiety is a type of anxiety that many children will experience at some point. If a child is showing signs of distress, try and find engaging activities for them to do during those times so that they are distracted – it could be something like coloring, playing with toys, sequencing activities for kids, or anything else that works for the child. It will help them deal with their stress and help their mind stay off of what’s bothering them overall.
Try To Make The Child’s Routine The Same
A child has specific routines that they’re used to at home, and when they go to a new environment, it can throw them off from the daily norms that they’ve been used to. It can make a child uncomfortable. However, if you try and keep the child’s routine consistent by having everyone follow the same schedule – as much as possible – this will help with keeping your child comfortable.
Andrea Gibbs is a Content Manager at SpringHive Web Agency, where she helps create content for their blog and social media channels. She is the author of the blog Baby Steps Preschool, where she provides storytime themes, parenting, educational tips, and seasonal activities to entertain children.