GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (ABC 4)- As kids and teens return to school, they may wrestle with mixed emotions. While a new academic year typically brings excitement and happiness for students, these feelings may wear off as the year progresses, allowing stress and anxiety to creep in. 

Pine Rest Christian Mental Health Services is reminding parents that while their children’s emotions are valid, there are many ways to help them navigate their back-to-school jitters. Leah Ewald from Pine Rest Christian Mental Health Services offers the following advice: 

Check-in with your children

Although it may be difficult for some kids, especially teens, to be vulnerable in vocalizing their feelings, it’s imperative to remind them that they have a shoulder to lean on. Creating a family routine of asking specific questions about your child’s feelings, a recap of their school day, and validating their responses can encourage them to communicate more openly and often. 

Practice breathing techniques

According to numerous health studies, deep breathing can help quell anxiety and stress by calming the mind and body, slowing a person’s heart rate, and allowing them to connect with themselves. Teaching kids and teens breathing exercises can help them develop greater emotional awareness and coping skills. 

Model healthy ways to cope with stress and anxiety

 Parents should strive to be positive role models in their children’s lives as they often emulate their environment and those they surround themselves with. Are you in tune with your emotions? Have you developed healthy coping skills? Communicating your feelings to your kids and sharing positive examples of how you’ve managed anxiety and stress can provide them with positive solutions. 

To find more valuable tips for helping kids and teens ease anxiety and stress, read Pine Rest Christian Health Services’ articles here

Sponsored by Pine Rest Christian Health Services