Three Ways to Ease Back to School Anxiety Using Affirmations

My kids have been out of in-person learning since April. That is is almost six months of being home with me. Every. Single. Day.  We've had joyful moments, challenging moments, moments of boredom and frustration. We've gotten used to a slower pace, sleep-ins and hot lunches in front of midday cartoons. I've seen my kids struggle through virtual school and lose contact with most of their friends. We've all had to adapt to spending lots of time together in very close quarters. We've gotten close and at times SO close that it feels like we are living on top of one another! 

I am grateful they are headed back to school in a couple days. They need to be around friends. They need to have a social life, and crushes and friend drama. I've thought a lot about how important these nuanced social situations benefit children's overall development. 

My kids are also excited, but they are feeling little hesitant this year. I imagine many kids are nervous, after being out of the routine for so long. There may be feelings of social anxiety or worries that they aren’t up to grade level.  Younger children may also struggle with changes in routine or feel separation anxiety. Some children may continue to feel fear regarding the spread of COVID-19 at school. 

If your child is entering school this year with a little bit more anxiety and lowered self-confidence, here's how you can use affirmations to help empower and support them! 

Why Affirmations?

Affirmations are positive personal statements starting with I am, I can and I choose. When repeated they can change a negative mindset into a positive one. Studies show that practicing affirmations is directly linked to increased confidence and the ability to see challenges as opportunities. Teaching kids how to create and use affirmations  shows them that even if they can’t control their circumstances they can control their overall mindset. 

  1. Create back to school affirmations together -Ask your kids how they are feeling about re-entering school. If any negative statements come up, simply flip them into positive ones.  For example, “I am worried about COVID.” can change into “We all know how to be safe at school.”.  “I am afraid I won't have any friends!” becomes “I am excited to see old friends and make new friends at school.” . These positive statements will become your child's personalized back to school affirmations. 
  2. Repeat affirmations daily - Try repeating affirmations as apart of a daily routine,  For example, sending written affirmations in their child’s lunch box or helping kids practice their back to school affirmations in the morning of after school. The more kids repeat their affirmations, the sooner they will start to believe them and the sooner you will see a positive change in their mindset and self confidence. 
  3. Make it FUN!  Kids must find ways to connect a positive feeling with the affirmation in order for it to truly stick. Using creativity is a simple way to help kids process and internalize their affirmations. The creative process establishes focus and promotes positive feelings. For example, kids can create posters of their affirmations to stick around the house or do empowering crafts, like affirmation bracelets. If creativity isn't your jam, consider Creative Affirmation Cards as a guide to help build their children’s confidence! 

Happy September! Hoping our kids get a full year of learning, fun and play at school!