LANCASTER, Pa. (WHTM) – With back to school season around the corner, it can be an exciting time for many students, but also extremely stressful for others.
“It is an exciting time for both kids and parents but at the same time there’s a lot of change and a lot of transition,” said Dr. Thomas Foley, a Psychiatrist with CHI St. Joseph Children’s Health.
According to the CDC, anxiety, and depression in kids and adolescents have been steadily increasing. Dr. Foley says stress in children and flares up when summer winds down.
“Just the adjustment from the summer schedule and summer routine into the regular routine of school can be such a shock and a major change for them which can be stressful and then can put the kids at risk for depression or anxiety symptoms,” said Dr. Foley.
Testing the social aspect of school and bullying, however, can cause additional stress.
Dr. Foley says that it is important “trying to frame things to be exciting more than anxiety-provoking, so for the parents to talk to the kids about what are three exciting things they’re looking forward to this year, just that mindset change can be really helpful.”
With only weeks remaining before the start of school, Dr. Foley says parents should consider resetting sleep patterns, going over morning routines and giving your child some type of control, like picking out their outfit or deciding what snack they want.
According to Dr. Foley, the time to seek professional care are when symptoms of stress and anxiety change in: sleep pattern, appetite or behavior, if persistent, could majorly impact the child.