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Back-to-School Anxiety in Kids: What to Watch Out For This Year

In a typical year, you might expect your child to have the jitters about going back to school. But this year, back-to-school is anything but typical. Many kids are going back feeling more than a little nervous, especially if they’re returning to a physical school. They might be feeling anxiety or a sense of dread.

Even kids who usually look forward to school might be anxious. For kids who struggle with learning or making friends, it can be even harder.

If your child is anxious about going back to school, how do you know if it’s a passing situation or a larger problem? Find out more about anxiety in kids as they head back to school.

Here are some of the things kids may feel anxious about:

  • Being behind and not being able to catch up
  • Seeing other kids and fitting in after being away so long
  • Following safety rules (or other kids not following them)
  • Getting sick or family members getting sick
  • Not being prepared for changes or not knowing what to expect
  • Having to talk about things that have happened in their family, like illness, death, or the loss of a job

If your child feels anxious about going back to school, you may not know what to do. (It’s especially hard if you feel anxious, too.) Let your child know that lots of people are anxious about going back to work and school, like teachers and other kids at school. Tell your child it’s OK to feel that way, and that you’re always there to talk and listen.

  • Keep track of signs of anxiety you’re seeing, and when you notice them. Jotting down what you’re seeing makes it easier to explain what’s happening to people who can help, like teachers and mental health professionals.
  • When school starts, stay connected with the teacher about how your child is doing. Together you can keep an eye on your child’s anxiety, how your child is managing it, and if it’s pointing to deeper struggles that require more support.

Excerpted from “Back-to-School Anxiety in Kids: What to Watch Out For This Year” in Understood. Read the full article online for additional tips and recommendations.

Source: Understood | Back-to-School Anxiety in Kids: What to Watch Out For This Year, | Copyright © 2014–2020 UNDERSTOOD.ORG USA LLC
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