On the calendar, its summer for another month, but for school kids, the season is coming to an end. If you’re youngster is not eating much and seems out of sorts or your college bound teen is irritable, it could be a sign of the back to school blues. Transitions involve change which can lead to some anxiety.
Dr. Nicole Quinlan, a licensed psychologist at Geisinger Medical Center, says practicing the first day of school routine with younger children and talking it out with those of any age can help them and you deal with that anxiety. She says parents can help by practicing the first day of school routine, talking about what the child might expect, and having their things together ahead of time, such as backpacks and binders.
Dr. Quinlan says helping kids get to know other children if it’s a new area or new school, finding out more about the school, and practicing a walk-through of the new school, if that’s possible, can be helpful.
Dr. Quinlan says a parent can empathize with their child, talking through the kinds of things they’d want their child to know to cope. She says this will also help parents who may be anxious over the transition.
Dr. Quinlan says students heading off to college for the first time can also show some signs of anxiety She says for teens headed to college for the first time, talking it over and spelling out expectations ahead of time can be helpful. If parents have more serious concerns, colleges have support services on campus.
To learn more about back to school anxiety, parents can get tips at the Pennsylvania Psychological Association’s website http://www.papsy.org/index.php/public/or the National website www.apahelpcenter.org.