It’s that time of year again. The back-to-school frenzy is upon us. Although a new school year is often an exciting time for families, the transition from home to the classroom can be a stressful time for both parents and children.
- Before school starts, schedule fun activities with peers. Having a familiar face around when school starts will help your child adjust to his or her new classroom.
- Start implementing a school-year routine a few weeks before the first day of school.
- If possible, take a tour of the school during summer break. Have your child familiarize himself or herself with the classroom, playground, cafeteria, etc.
- Listen to your child and validate his or her feelings. Let them know that it is normal to feel a little nervous before the first day of school.
Parents or caregivers may wish to consult with a mental health professional if a child’s symptoms of anxiety persist. Here are some warning signs to look for:
- No longer participating in normal activities at home or at school
- Increase in tantrums when a parent or caregiver attempts to drop off child at school
- Increase in gastrointestinal issues
- Reports of fatigue
- Refusing to sleep alone
There are several ways to address anxiety in children, including therapeutic interventions, medication management or a combination of both.