Ten Ways to Tame the “Worry Monster”

If the kids are stressed out, there are 10 Ways to “Tame the Worry Monster”

Parents may feel like June is easy at school, but from a child’s perspective the end of the school year can be stressful! In this Huffington Post blog, Dr. Dan Peters gives concrete advice for parents to help their children manage worries and stress:

Dr. Peters is a psychologist and a self-proclaimed parent of worriers. His advice is geared toward younger children, but many of the exercises can be used by older kids as well. If your child is becoming anxious about the transitions that come with the end of the school year, you may want Dr. Peters guidance as he goes into more detail about these steps you can take:

1. Teach how our brain and body work when we are scared
2. Identify body feelings
3. Externalize the problem
4. Make a worry list
5. Make a success ladder
6. Identify worrisome and fearful thinking
7. Change and modify thinking
8. Practice, practice, practice
9. Develop a coping toolbox
10. Don’t give up

What’s on your child’s “worry list”?
This time of year can be particularly anxiety-inducing for children of all ages, with the thoughts of upcoming changes and less structure for the summer. Some anxious kids may already be worrying about next fall. Maybe the worry is about final exams and projects, new schools or new classrooms next year, summer reading lists, summer camp and that swimming test. For some, the need for summer school or tutoring may be stressful.

If you can find out what your children are worried about (it may not be what you think!) then you can prioritize where they need the most help, and begin to address some of their concerns.

Many children with learning difficulties also struggle with anxiety. While most learning challenges are identified in elementary school, an unidentified issue may create a very stressful day-to-day existence for a student. Even children who have been receiving support may suffer additional worries if those supports are not helping them quickly enough. But, remember the last step #10: Don’t give up!

If your kids are stressed out about the end of the school year, they may need extra help over the summer. Check out ILD’s full range of services, including 1-to-1 remedial instruction, 1-to-1 executive function coaching, educational therapy, summer classes, and neuro-psychological assessments: http://www.ildlex.org/

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