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Back to School Anxiety

Overcoming Back-to-School Anxiety

The transition into a new school year can be a time of excitement and stress. Children can become anxious, irritable or depressed by this major change. The trick to fighting the back-to-school anxiety is to start preparing well ahead of the first day of school, Dr. Dan Jolivet, a Licensed Clinical Psychologist and Vice President of Clinical Services with Magellan Behavioral Health, shares how:

Kindergarten through fifth grade – kids need to talk

  • Talk about it — Talk with your elementary age children about their excitement, stressing the benefits (seeing their friends, playing sports, etc.).
  • Give them some control — Be firm that they do have to go to school, but give them control over some simple choices, like buying or bringing lunch or riding the bus or riding their bike to school.

Teens want you to listen

  • Keep communication lines open — Teens want you to listen to their back-to-school concerns— but not judge. Do everything possible to keep the lines of communication open at this critical age.
  • Look for patterns — A wild new hairdo? No problem. Purple hair AND scary new friends AND a drop in grades? Now it’s time to worry.

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