This can be a stressful time of year for parents and students alike. A brand new school year often comes with a lot of anxiety.
A new class, new teacher and maybe even a new school building can often bring a lot of stress.
“Worrying about making friends, worrying about making sure all of the things are taken care of and the transition is as smooth as possible,” said Robbin Williams, Allied Mental Health Professional at WellSpan Health.
Williams says parents can play a key role in easing that tension.
“One is to validate those feelings and that those feelings are normal,” she said. “Two is being able to start that routine early as well as reaching out to their local school to see if they can get a tour of the school, helping the kid be familiar with that space and environment especially if it’s going to be a new building for them.”
Parents can reach out to a guidance counselor at the school if they’re still worried and even a mental health professional if their child seems constantly overwhelmed. The emotional anxiety can also sometimes have physical symptoms.
“Some common ones could be issues sleeping, trouble eating, maybe more behavior outbursts,” Williams said. “Kids actually expressing they’re nervous or having a hard time breathing are all very common signs of anxiety. And it can look different for different age groups as well because some of the younger kids might not have the words to express, ‘hey I’m feeling anxious about this.’ So if they’re more clingy than usual or if they’re giving you more fight at bedtime that might be some clues there might be some other things going on for them.”