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  • Pepi M. Silverman

Take The Time To Listen To Your Children’s Concerns About Returning To School

Thinking about a new school year can be an exciting time for kids, new friends, new teachers, and challenging new concepts to learn; yet, for many students, feelings of anxiety can over-shadow any of their positive anticipation. If your child experienced negative peer interactions, academic difficulties, or emotional breakdowns at school, returning to that environment can trigger significant anxiety.

Acknowledging that the emotions felt by children are “real” can be a powerful first step in supporting children in the management of those powerful feelings. It is important to separate emotions from the events, which may have triggered those emotions.

Help your children by supporting their concerns by considering the following resources:

  • Work with mental health professionals, if emotional concerns are demonstrated

  • Keep communication open to allow your child to share their worries

  • Parents help their children by managing their own anxiety about returning to school

  • Teachers play a significant role in supporting student success, so work closely with the school team to prepare for a positive start to the school year

  • Avoid anticipating failures in order to allow new starts to bring fresh perspectives

  • Use past accomplishments to illustrate student strengths

  • Guide children to see themselves as “capable” to meet new challenges

  • Highlight new opportunities for future successes

A person’s state of mind and personal perspectives plays a large role in how he/she might interpret their worldview. Parents, teachers, therapists, and support personnel can alleviate student worries by helping to shape how a new school year can provide a clean slate for new beginnings, which can lead to new accomplishments in the year ahead.

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