I have struggled with anxiety for as long as I can remember. Does that make me not a “good enough” Christian? No, but that is the way I feel at times. Then I remember Philippians 4:6:
Don’t worry about anything. No matter what happens, tell God about everything. Ask and pray, and give thanks to him.
My son also struggles with anxiety, so no doubt it rubbed off on him from me.
Some adults don’t believe that children can have anxiety. What do they have to worry about? They don’t have to worry about bills, jobs, or putting food on the table, right? Wrong.
Please, don’t dismiss your child’s anxiety or fears. Take their feelings seriously. Being ignored can leave a child feeling alone, ashamed, or not good enough. And let me tell you, those feelings stick with you and it’s exhausting!
There are many reasons why back-to-school can cause children to feel anxious, too. They may be worried about things like friendships, academics, or bullying. Or there may be difficulties outside school, such as bereavement, divorce, or illness. They may just worry about the unknown or unexpected that each day brings – the “what ifs.”
Here are some tips to support you with back-to-school anxiety:
- Ask your child what is worrying them. Focus on listening and emotional support. As a parent, you can’t always “fix” everything.
- Try thinking about it from your child’s perspective. Your child’s experiences are very real to them. Logical thinking is affected by emotions. When they are feeling anxious or afraid, attempt to understand them and see it through their eyes. How would you have felt when you were their age?
- Help your child find activities that help them manage their anxiety. Perhaps it’s listening to music, writing in a “worry journal,” or playing a favorite game. For me, it has always been drawing and coloring.
- Another thing that helps me is preparing for the day the night before. Creating a routine of having everything ready, such as an outfit, papers, bag, etc., the night before causes me less anxiety in the morning. If I have to rush around and get everything together, I will be stressed out, which causes me to be anxious that I will be late or forget something. I will be a sweaty mess which is not the way to start out your day!
- And of course, prayer. Philippians 4:6 is my life verse. Next to this passage in my Bible, I wrote, “Worry and anxiety come when you sit and try to figure out things on your own. The key to being free from worry and anxiety is to pray about everything. Nothing is too big or too small for prayer. Prayer releases the peace of God over your heart and mind. No peace will come until you submit all your worries to God through prayer. Prayer chases away worry and anxiety because peace and worry cannot occupy the same space. Turn worry into prayer.”
If you or your child is struggling with anxiety, know that BridgeKids and the Bridgeway Care Team are here to support you. Please, connect with us.
If you are feeling discouraged or need help or support, please contact Care.
If you are looking for activities where you can meet others, check out our Events.
If you are looking for people to do life with, connect with our Groups.