Back to school anxiety

back to school anxiety

Back to school anxiety – its a real thing! And with real help, you can look forward to a peaceful, productive academic year ahead.

The return to school after the holidays isn’t just a run-of-the-mill event; it’s a psychological labyrinth, a journey through the unknown that can deeply impact the fragile equilibrium of many children, creating enormous anxiety.

The holiday season, a time typically synonymous with joy and relaxation, offers a brief respite from the relentless demands of school life. Bursting with festive activities, family gatherings, and a hiatus from the academic grind, it provides a sanctuary of sorts. But, as the final moments of respite slip away, an unsettling unease creeps in.

Why do children experience back to school anxiety?

1. Fear of the unknown

The looming prospect of a new semester, encountering unfamiliar teachers, and grappling with the relentless demands of homework becomes the catalyst for anxiety, even among the most stalwart students. Children, particularly those entangled in the web of uncertainty, grapple with a barrage of questions:

  • Will my new teacher be a benevolent guide or a strict taskmaster?
  • Will the class embrace me or remain a cliquey puzzle?
  • Can I navigate the impending workload, or will it become an insurmountable mountain?

These uncertainties create a well of back to school anxiety, transforming the new year from a beacon of excitement into a looming source of stress.

2. Fear of failure

Academic pressures emerge as a formidable adversary. The impending exams, assignments, and the relentless pursuit of academic excellence become the formidable dragons guarding the gates of knowledge.

The fear of failure or the unrelenting pressure to outshine classmates heightens stress levels and impacts a child’s overall well-being and performance,  and contributes largely to back to school anxiety

3. Fear of rejection

Further complicating the narrative are the intricate social dynamics that underpin the anxiety experienced by children. The holiday break serves as a temporary escape from the potential minefield of peer interactions, but re-entering the classroom thrusts them back into a social arena where acceptance and rejection hang in the air like an impending storm.

  • The fear of not fitting in,
  • the dread of judgment,
  • or the specter of bullying

can intensify back to school anxiety levels, casting a dark shadow over a child’s ability to navigate peer relationships and actively engage in class activities.

Finding help to overcome back to school anxiety

In this complex narrative, parents and educators emerge as the unsung heroes, entrusted with the responsibility of guiding children through the labyrinth of anxieties. Open communication becomes the compass, creating a safe haven for children to articulate their fears, a crucial element in dispelling the shadows that may loom large.

If we recognise that anxiety is a natural response to change, then  offering reassurance and an open channel of communication  becomes the beacon of light guiding children through the darkest corners of the return to school.

Introducing coping techniques assumes the role of a secret weapon, yet emotional attachment often muddles the process for parents.
Seeking the guidance of an expert Kids life coach, a sage untethered by emotional bias, becomes a strategic move.

Enter Phil Keye, The Kids and Teens Empowerment Coach from, a seasoned guide through the intricate landscapes of childhood and adolescence since 2012. Armed with specific techniques rooted in mindfulness, deep breathing exercises, and positive visualizations, Phil equips kids with the tools to navigate stress and anxiety.

Keye believes that by imparting Empowerment Tools within a safe and non-judgmental environment, children can not only survive but thrive amidst stressful situations. By unraveling the unique challenges each child faces and providing the necessary support, Phil Keye becomes the architect of resilient, confident, and emotionally intelligent individuals ready to confront the myriad opportunities and challenges that lie ahead in their educational journey.

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Phil Keye

Phil Keye

Philip is an internationally acclaimed Master ILS coach, Master Demartini facilitator, Professional Fire walking instructor and Reiki Master. Phil has coached over 1600 hours of 1-on-1 coaching. He has trained over 24,000 kids/teens on his coaching programs. He has run 7 Outdoor Adventure youth camps in South Africa. Click here to visit his page on Jozikids

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