NILES, Ohio (WKBN) – The start of a new school year is exciting for many kids, but for some, those changes can turn into fear or anxiety.
Laura Revetti, a psychologist for Niles City Schools, said common concerns that kids face are finding their classrooms or getting to know their teachers and peers. And, with the little ones, being away from home can be a big adjustment.
“Kids can really build up a lot of stress and anxiety about having to get back into a routine and what to expect once the new school year begins,” she said.
Revetti said there are ways to help your child deal with the stress. The first thing that you can do is talk to them and find out what concerns they have.
“Instead of just reassuring them that it’ll be OK, try to plan strategies with them as to what they could do in certain situations that they might be concerned about,” she said.
Experts say a few weeks before the first day, it’s also important to start getting kids back into a routine that will last through the school year.
“Getting them back into a certain schedule, getting to bed on time, even providing unstructured play at home for a certain amount of time, just to get their imagination going, these are things that they’ll be expected to do in school, so teaching them how to do this at home is really important,” Revetti said.
Janel Gibbs, of Youngstown, has two kids getting ready to head back to school. She said they’re anxious about it, but each day, she’s working to get them back into a school routine.
“Reading camp, and we do math problems every day. I make them solve any sort of problem and flash cards,” she said.
Whether your child is entering kindergarten or making the big transition into high school, know that it’s normal for them to have those back-to-school jitters, but talking with them and working together to overcome those worries is the first step to confronting any issues.