The 4-year old beginning school for the first time; the 6-year old starting Grade 1; the 14-year old beginning High School; the 18-year old starting College or University. Yes, it is an exciting time for every student, but what they also share in common is anxiety due to the anticipation of a new environment and fear of the unknown.
As I write this blog a week before school starts, we should remind ourselves that the transition period to these new beginnings can be anxiety-provoking for most students, while overwhelming and even traumatic for others. For most people, It is all too easy to remember the anxiety often felt on Labour Day before the first day of school.
Although research shows that students experience anxiety adjusting to their first year at College and University (Canadian Organization of University College Health, June 2013), there is growing evidence that suggests the rate at which anxiety is affecting students at the High School (McGill University, April 2013) level and even as far back as Kindergarten (Canadian Paediatric Society, 2009) is increasing.
The good news is that usually this anxiety is transient, and its shelf life will terminate once the unknown becomes clear and familiarity sets in for the student. But for some students, the period of adjustment will take longer to work through and can have numerous negative consequences including:
- loss of concentration
- falling behind in school
As a parent, the role you play in your child’s transition periods is crucial. To learn how you can help your child cope with their new beginnings this fall, visit the following link.
How do you support your children through periods of anxiety and discomfort brought on by new beginnings or experiences? Please share your thoughts in the comments below!