If you have a student who may be dealing with anxiety, it is important first to connect with their parents or caregivers regarding your concerns. Doing so can help you learn what they might already be doing to help their child cope.
Here are some tips to keep in mind when talking with parents about childhood anxiety:
- Don’t make assumptions about whether or not the family is aware of the issue. Be sensitive to the possibility that the parent(s) may express distress or guilt if they had been unaware.
- Talk about behaviors you have observed and what the child may have shared, but avoid interpreting the causes of behaviors.
- Make it clear that you want them to be aware of your observations but that you are not suggesting that their child has a disorder or problem. Do not imply that you are qualified to diagnose or treat their child.
- Keep the discussion focused on the school setting.
- When discussing potential solutions, do your best to come across as collaborative, not judgmental.
Working together with parents is a key part of supporting students who may be dealing with anxiety in the classroom.