ready for a new school year can be exciting for children,
parents and caregivers. It may also be a major cause of
anxiety or stress. Whether kids are heading off to elementary
school, high school or college, leaving the safety and
familiarity of home can prompt feelings of fear.
Clinic Children's Center psychologist Dr. Stephen Whiteside
says that if back-to-school anxiety or separation anxiety
become overwhelming and disruptive, taking steps to reduce
those fears is important. "Some kids are more anxious
than others, and transitions like going back to school can be
more difficult for them. Talking to them and preparing them
ahead of time by doing things such as visiting the schools and
meeting teachers can be beneficial."
Whiteside offers additional tips that can help:
school ahead of time: classrooms, lockers, cafeteria,
social; get in touch with school peers.
Practice academic work.
Develop a routine; wake up early to be ready on time.
Spend time apart so kids and parents/caregivers can get used
to being separated.
anxiety becomes severe, talk to your health care provider to
be sure the anxiety is not caused by an underlying issues such
as a learning disability. For parents who have separation
anxiety from sending their child off to college, Dr. Whiteside
recommends getting support by talking to others who have
already gone through that transition.