7 Tips for Addressing Back to School Anxiety

7 Tips for Addressing Back to School Anxiety

By Grace Berman, LCSW

It’s that time of year! August brings the end of summer and increased anxiety over the upcoming school year. Therapist Grace Berman offers suggestions to parents on addressing Back to School anxiety.

7 Tips to Ease Back to School Anxiety for your Child:

  1. Get back into routines before school starts, including bedtime, morning, meals, and limiting screen time a few weeks before the first day of school.
  2. Check in with stress levels – parents and children alike because back to school is stressful for parents and caregivers too.
  3. Listen to your children and validate their thoughts and feelings; just saying ‘don’t worry’ will cause more anxiety and possibly deter kids from expressing themselves comfortably.
  4. Prepare for what you can – anxiety thrives in uncertainty – so do a test run for school, go to open houses or school community events offered before the beginning of school and even in the first few weeks of the start of school.
  5. Create a “cope ahead” plan: think of ways for the child to envision how they can act or react to something that makes them anxious at school and then rehearse the plan for different scenarios.
  6. Talk to school mental health professionals; this is particularly important if a child has significant anxiety or a mental health diagnosis. Contact with the school-based mental health team can facilitate creating a response plan, communicating with school staff and outside providers, and dealing with any social, emotional or behavioral issues.
  7. Blend back to school with fun activities so transition is less sudden. For example, plan a water or amusement park trip, a shopping or movie outing, camping, or whatever your child has enjoyed over the summer. These can be done on weekends or on days off of school at the beginning.

Read more of this article in the Anxiety and Depression Association of America’s Newsletter.


Multiple CE courses for professionals available this Fall: Suicidal Risks in Teens, Digital Use Disorders, & ADHD.
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