Back to School Anxiety


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Q: Every year my children and I have a fantastic summer. Then the first week of school arrives, and their anxiety level suddenly rises to very high levels. How can we avoid this?
– High Anxiety

A: Parents can make back-to-school time less traumatic by clearing their schedules so they can focus on being there for their children. The less parents have to do at home and on the job, the more relaxed they will be.

Children tend to be especially anxious if they are attending a new school or have had bad experiences the previous year. This is the time for parents to be calm, positive and reassuring. They also need to be careful not to overreact to problems that pop up in the first days back at school and help their children develop coping strategies. If their children have been bullied or teased the previous year, their new teachers need to know about this during the first few days of school to prevent it from happening again.

Parents can also make the start of a new school year more comfortable for their younger children by arranging play dates for them during the first weeks of school. This helps them rebuild social relationships with their classmates.

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