(WTNH) – Kids are heading back to the classroom and for those transitioning into a new school, the nerves may be starting to set in. News 8 has a look at the red flags a child may be struggling with.
While shopping for new shoes and supplies may be fun, right now, the thought of that first day may be weighing heavily on students who are starting a new school.
“I’m kind of in between being nervous, but excited because I get to do a lot of new things here, but it’s so different from my old school. I’m not a middle schooler anymore,” said Briana Norman.
Experts say it’s that transition into a new school that can be the toughest because there are more unknowns. Whether it’s going into Kindergarten, leaving for college, or somewhere in between, St. Vincent Medical Center’s Director of Psychiatry, Dr. Andre Newfield, suggests parents pay close attention to their kids who may be showing signs of anxiety.
“With little kids, it may be perhaps more irritability, and with older kids, you’ll see it in terms of how they express anxiety. So, looking out for acting out in younger kids, that may be misinterpretation for a behavioral disturbance. When it interferes with their ability to sit in class, that’s when you want to seek professional help,” said Dr. Newfield.
Dr. Newfield has three ideas to get ahead of your child’s anxiety:
- Ask your child how they are feeling. Talk about those concerns
- Visit the child’s school ahead of time if you can to find classrooms and lockers
- If you suspect your child is at risk of dealing with back-to-school anxiety, partner with school officials to develop a plan to monitor it and step in if necessary
Experts say to take these tips beyond the first week as many students will be juggling a lot of new beginnings. It’s also important that parents recognize they may be nervous too.
“You’re going to have your own emotions, so settling that because the kids are going to feel that if you’re really keyed up,” Dr. Newfield said.
It’s a transition for the whole family and more important than ever to keep an eye on one another and keep the lines of communication open.