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Q:

What are some strategies for helping children with anxiety or other mental health challenges succeed in school?

Hi everyone,

I am a parent of a 9-year-old who has been struggling with anxiety for a while now. I have noticed that it is affecting his performance in school and he seems to be struggling with academics and social interaction with peers. I want to know if there are any strategies or tips that I can use to help my child succeed in school despite his mental health challenges. Any advice or personal experiences would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

All Replies

gaylord.colton

Hi everyone,

As someone who has struggled with anxiety and depression throughout my academic career, I can attest to how much it can impact one's academic success. The most important thing I've learned is that everyone's journey is unique, and it's essential to develop a personalized approach that works best.

One of the strategies that has helped me the most was finding a community of people who were going through similar challenges. Reading success stories or connecting with the support group helped me feel less alone and more motivated to stay on top of my academics.

I also found that identifying my triggers and having a toolkit of coping strategies helped me manage panic attacks or anxiety episodes. Whether it's listening to calming music or stepping into a quiet space to breathe, finding ways to cope with anxiety can help not only in academic scenarios but daily life.

Lastly, setting realistic goals and celebrating small milestones helped me stay motivated and track my progress. Rewarding myself with something as simple as a hot cup of tea or a break helped me refresh my focus and energy.

I hope this helps someone who's navigating school with anxiety and depression. Remember to be kind to yourself and celebrate every step of the way.

alan.kuhn

Hello,

I have a teenager with anxiety and depression, and from my experience, the key to nurturing a child with mental health problems in school is to build a good relationship with the teachers and relevant school authorities. I made it a point to inform my daughter's teachers and counselors about her condition, and they have been incredibly supportive in creating an accommodating classroom environment.

Another thing that helped her was encouraging physical activity. My daughter found it difficult to concentrate and was tired most of the time, but taking regular walks, swimming, or other light exercises helped her recharge and stay focused.

I also found it essential to create a structured home environment with consistent routines and minimal stress. We established predictable daily schedules and minimized disruptions by prioritizing her needs like giving her adequate sleep and time for assignments.

Lastly, self-care is essential for parents in providing care to their children with anxiety. Make sure you practice self-care to avoid burning out and becoming a source of stress for your child.

I hope this helps anyone else who's looking for ways to support their child with mental health problems in school.

ylubowitz

Hi everyone,

As a teacher who has worked with children with mental health challenges, I think that open communication between teachers, parents, and the child is critical. When teachers know about a child's anxiety or depression, they can adapt their teaching methods to accommodate that child's unique needs, which ultimately results in better academic outcomes. I recommend that parents and teachers create an open-door policy so that everyone can stay up to date on the child's progress or possible changes in behavior.

Another strategy that can be extremely helpful is creating a sensory-friendly classroom environment. Reducing sensory overload, such as lowering backgrounds noises, lessening the lighting, or providing sensory aids like weighted blankets, helps the child relax and focus more on learning.

Finally, providing opportunities for your child to engage in mindfulness activities or connecting with peers with similar experiences through support groups can help them feel supported and develop social skills.

I hope this helps as you continue to support your child with mental health challenges in school.

abruen

Hi,

As a parent of a child with anxiety, I completely understand your concern. One of the things that helped my child was providing a safe space where she could talk about her anxiety without fear of judgment. We also worked with her teachers to develop a plan for managing her anxiety in the classroom. This included things like breaks for mindfulness exercises or a quick walk outside.

We also found that providing a consistent routine helped my child feel more in control and less anxious. This included having a set bedtime, mealtime, and homework time. Additionally, we included more activities that she enjoyed, such as art or dance classes, to boost her confidence and promote relaxation.

Lastly, finding a licensed therapist who specializes in child anxiety can greatly benefit your child. They can provide tools like cognitive-behavioral therapy, relaxation techniques, and coping strategies that can help your child manage their anxiety in and out of the classroom.

I hope this helps and wish you and your child all the best.

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