Today is National Anxiety Disorders Screening Day. Children with anxiety have difficulty functioning at school due to constant worry, lack of sleep, irritability, gastrointestinal problems, and headaches. I’ve had problems with anxiety most of my life–so this list of problems sounds familiar. Check out these 5 things you can do to help students in your classroom who suffer from anxiety:
- Empathize with the child. Instead of telling her “not to worry,” tell her that you understand how scary anxiety can be.
- Have the child draw his worry. Sometimes a child can’t put his worries into words, and drawing helps vent the stress he feels.
- Have the child take some deep breaths and relaxed stretches.
- Help the child come up with solutions to the problem. For example, if the child is afraid he can’t get his locker open, guide him to understand who can help in that situation.
- Be a source of calm. Your students look to you to gauge their emotions. If you are relaxed and calm, it will help those students who are anxious.
A few of these ideas might help with teacher anxiety as well. 🙂