School Starts Soon
It’s time for new backpacks and lunch boxes, freshly sharpened pencils, packs of markers, and piles of glue sticks. It also means new classrooms, meeting the teachers, homework assignments, riding the bus and being surrounded by other students. For many kids, this is an exciting time. But for some, heading back to school is a time of dread and anxiety.
Until this year, Ethan was one of the latter. His days at school were full of fear and anxiety. He cried almost daily, feeling like he didn’t fit in and no one liked him. The beginning of the school year was especially difficult. Summer break had given him just enough time to let go of his anxieties before having to face them all again.
After one particularly difficult day in the beginning of 6th grade, Ethan’s teacher referred him to LFCS for counseling. His parents agreed that he needed additional support in order to be successful in and out of the classroom. Although reluctant to talk to a stranger about his feelings, Ethan agreed.
Weeks passed without much progress. It was difficult for Ethan to put his feelings into words. A breakthrough came when the counselor asked Ethan about his friends. Ethan broke down. “I don’t have any friends,” he said. “No one likes me.” Tears rolled down his cheeks.
The sessions that followed were life-changing for Ethan. He and his counselor talked about the traits of a good friend. They drew pictures and created word clouds about friendship. Ethan’s therapist also incorporated roll play into their sessions so he could experience positive social exchanges. Soon, Ethan gained confidence. He starting applying his newly learned skills when talking to classmates. To his surprise, his interactions were positive and with each conversation Ethan’s fears were replaced with assurance.
Today, Ethan is excited and ready for school to start again. He will be in 8th grade; a bright, friendly, funny, and well-liked young man. He spends his weekends talking, texting and playing video games with his friends – the boys Ethan once thought couldn’t stand to be around him.