Back to school: Help your kids get off to a good start

With summer winding down and children going to school this month, many kids will experience anxiety. Here is some advice on how parents can help children adjust to their new school year.

Some children process change well and should easily adjust to school, while others may find it more difficult, according to Dr. Ben Miller, director of the Farley Health Policy Center (FHPC) at UC Medical Center & Mental Health Colorado board member.

“If the child is experiencing stress in multiple settings, like school, church, friendships, teams, clubs, or everyday activities such as getting a haircut, there can be cause for concern,” says Miller.

He says parents need to engage with their child and check in with others who interact with them on a regular basis including teachers, coaches, church-group supervisors and club leaders.

“Kids express energy and enthusiasms in different ways,” says Shale Wong, Pediatrician, and Director of Child Health Policy and Education at FHPC. “Some children express themselves in a high-energy, outgoing manner, while others are completely internal. If something is bothering them, they do not necessarily know how to say it.”

In this case, Wong advises looking for other clues including changes in appetite or sleep habits, or an unexplained illness, which can also be a manifestation of stress. Read more…