Los­ing sleep over back-to-school sea­son? BC Chil­dren’s has tips to ease anx­i­ety

The Miracle - - Youth -

Van­cou­ver – Few Days from to­day, chil­dren and youth will say hello to a new school year. For many it’s an ex­cit­ing time, but the change in rou­tine can give some kids back-to-school jit­ters. Meet­ing new teach­ers, wor­ry­ing about where to sit at lunch, and won­der­ing if they have classes with friends are com­mon sources of anx­i­ety for stu­dents of all ages, all the way from pre-school to high school. “Chil­dren and youth can build up a lot of stress and anx­i­ety about hav­ing to get back into a rou­tine and what to ex­pect when the new school year be­gins,” said Dr. Su­san Baer, psy­chi­a­trist in the Mood and Anx­i­ety Dis­or­ders clinic at BC Chil­dren’s Hos­pi­tal. “Th­ese feel­ings are nor­mal, and there are steps par­ents can take now to help ease the tran­si­tion from sum­mer break to the new school year.” Dr. Baer rec­om­mends par­ents plan ahead and grad­u­ally ex­pose kids to their en­vi­ron­ment and new sched­ule. Tips for par­ents and care­givers: •Get into a rou­tine one to two weeks be­fore school starts: plan nu­tri­tious meals and snacks as well as morn­ing/bed­time habits •Talk to your child about what may be wor­ry­ing them: try role-play­ing through sit­u­a­tions they may face at school •Plan for tran­si­tions, in­clud­ing get­ting to school and re­turn­ing to school af­ter va­ca­tions •Through­out the school year, en­cour­age your child to share his or her fears by set­ting up a reg­u­lar time to talk •Help your child de­velop healthy cop­ing and prob­lem-solv­ing skills •Be mind­ful of your own be­hav­iour—model con­fi­dence and com­fort when your child is anx­ious •Fo­cus on the pos­i­tive and cel­e­brate small ac­com­plish­ments Con­sider seek­ing more help if your child does the fol­low­ing: •Fre­quentq at­temptsp to re­main at home or with ith a care­giveri •Re­fuses to at­tend school on cer­tain days (field trips) •Re­fuses to eat in pub­lic •Re­fuses to use pub­lic bath­rooms •Wor­ries con­stantly •Con­tin­u­ally seeks com­fort and re­as­sur­ance •Shows ex­treme shy­ness, avoid­ing so­cial sit­u­a­tions or events •Raises phys­i­cal com­plaints with no med­i­cal ex­pla­na­tion (stom­ach aches, headaches, dif­fi­culty catch­ing his or her breath) •Throws tantrums, cries or screams ex­ces­sively •Be­gins to act in a way that is ‘out of char­ac­ter’, if a sud­den and un­ex­pected be­hav­ior change is ob­served Learn more: Re­sources for chil­dren, youth, young adults and par­ents: •Kelty Men­tal Health Re­source Cen­tre: A pro­vin­cial re­source cen­tre that pro­vides men­tal health and sub­stance use in­for­ma­tion, re­sources, and peer sup­port to chil­dren, youth and their fam­i­lies from across BC. •BreathrB th Mi Mind­ful­nessdf l A App: an app d de­signedi dt to in­tro­duce the con­cept of mind­ful­ness, of­fer­ing a va­ri­ety of mind­ful­ness prac­tices, while also teach­ing them in­ter­est­ing facts about the brain sci­ence be­hind those prac­tices. •MindShift: An in­ter­ac­tive app de­signed to help youth learn how to re­lax, de­velop more help­ful ways of think­ing, and iden­tify ac­tive steps that will help them take charge of their anx­i­ety. •mind­check.ca: An in­ter­ac­tive web­site de­signed to help youth and young adults age 13-25 to check out how they’re feel­ing and quickly con­nect to men­tal health re­sources and sup­port. •Stresslr is a free web app that pro­vides a fun and en­gag­ing way for chil­dren ages 9-11 to learn about stress, un­der­stand how they re­act to it, and de­velop healthy strate­gies to cope with stress in their ev­ery­day lives. Stresslr can be used on any com­puter, tablet or iPhone, and will soon be avail­able on An­droid de­vices as well! •Anx­i­etyBC: In­for­ma­tion on how anx­i­ety can ex­press it­self and ef­fec­tive strate­gies to ad- dress it in chil­dren, youth and young adults. •BC FRIENDS On­line Par­ent Pro­gram: A An on­line re­source for par­ents of chil­dren in kinder­garten to grade 7. FRIENDS is an anx­i­ety pre­ven­tion and re­siliency build­ing cur­ricu­lum avail­able for use in BC class­rooms. • •The Cri­sis Line As­so­ci­a­tion of BC pro­vides 24 hours a day, seven days a week link­age to re­gional cri­sis and in­for­ma­tion lines. Call 1-800-SUI­CIDE (1-800-7842433) from any­where in the prov­ince to be con­nected to the near­est avail­able re­gional cri­sis line. Ac­cess the trained vol­un­teers who of­fer emo­tional sup­port, cri­sis and sui­cide as­sess­ment/in­ter­ven­tion, and re­source in in­for­ma­tion. • •The Con­fi­dent Par­ents: Thriv­ing Kids p pro­gram, de­liv­ered through the Cana­dian M Men­tal Health As­so­ci­a­tion’s B.C. Di­vi­sion, helps par­ents ad­dress be­havioural prob­lems in kids aged three to 12. The free pro­gram is de­liv­ered by tele­phone dur­ing the day, as well as evenings and week­ends, to ac­com­mo­date busy work and school sched­ules. •Healthy Fam­i­lies BC: A pro­vin­cial on­estop on­line re­source for health and well­ness in­for­ma­tion. Whether you are look­ing for healthy eat­ing tips at home or dining out, pro­grams and supports for be­com­ing more phys­i­cally ac­tive or quit­ting smok­ing, or in­for­ma­tion about healthy life­style ini­tia­tives where you work, live and play, HealthyFam­i­lies BC is ded­i­cated to help­ing Bri­tish Columbians make health­ier choices. BC Chil­dren’s Hos­pi­tal, an agency of the Pro­vin­cial Health Ser­vices Au­thor­ity pro­vides ex­pert care for the prov­ince’s most se­ri­ously ill or in­jured chil­dren, youth and young adults, in­clud­ing new­borns. Child and Youth Men­tal Health pro­vides a di­verse range of spe­cial­ized and one-of-a-kind ter­tiary men­tal health and sub­stance use ser­vices for chil­dren, ado­les­cents and young adults across the p prov­ince.

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