Therapist shares tips to help your child’s back to school anxiety
"Parents should communicate with their children about expectations for the school environment."
MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) — The first day of school is now just days away for most Middle Georgia students, and that could mean back to school jitters, especially if your child is going to back to in-person learning full time.
The Bibb County School District’s Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports Department hosted a Back to School Bash Friday. The event was to designed to make sure kids have everything they need to be successful this year. PBIS Coordinator Curlandra Lightfoot Smith says it’s okay to be anxious and that each school has resources if you need them.
“When you get back to school, we’re going to be ready for you,” she said. “We have our teachers who are excited to greet you back to school. We have school counselors in place, and the district is ready for you to come back on Monday.”
Bruce Conn, a therapist at Coliseum Center for Behavioral Health, says parents should communicate with their children about expectations for the school environment.
“They’re there to learn, there to be a good friend, they’re there to make some friends,” Conn said. “So those are the critical things, and behaviors that get in the way of that need to be named, and addressed and changed.”
Conn says it takes a village to raise a child. If you notice they’re struggling with going back to school, look to those who are closest to your family.
He also says communicating with your child’s teacher or school can be helpful.
“If those things don’t work, reach out for some more specific professional help,” he said. “A school counselor, a school nurse, or maybe someone outside the school system.”
Lashadrid Dixon says her kids are excited to get back to school. She says they aren’t excited about the COVID protocols but are prepared to handle them.
“They went to camp to get prepared for everything,” she said. “They’re used to most of the stuff, but they’re just excited to get back.”
Conn says anxiety and excitement have similar physical reactions. He says even though times have changed, parents should still communicate that going back to school is an exciting time.
“Engaging the exciting part of school is where I would encourage parents to turn to,” he said.