(St. Louis, Missouri): Back to school shopping, finding out who your teacher will be, and reconnecting with school friends, makes going back to school a very exciting time for most kids, teens and their families.
For up to 1 in 8 school age children and teens, the thought of going back to school can cause significant anxiety. The anxiety may cause a loss of sleep, loss of appetite, mood swings, tantrums, and stress for the student. In extreme cases, this causes a complete refusal to attend school and significant school absences.
Dr. Lena Pearlman, a mental health therapist in Creve Coeur, has the following advice and suggestions for parents of school age children that are dealing with school anxiety, “All children will deal with stressors and change in different ways. Transitioning from summer activities and schedules back to the school year can be a challenge. Having some anxious feelings or a bit of worrying about school is completely normal. When the situation rises to a child not sleeping, not eating, other physical or mental symptoms, or a refusal to leave the house or go to school, this is the time to bring this to the attention of a mental health therapist and your child’s physician.”
Some strategies that can be used for children dealing with school anxiety include: transitioning back to a normal eating and sleeping schedule as the school year approaches, reassuring your child that what they are experiencing is normal, encouraging your child to discuss what is making them anxious, helping them to create a list of the positive of what to look forward to in the school year, and planning for the school year in advance. These steps will help minimize the school anxiety and will set the students up for success.
Dr. Lena Pearlman & Associates is a team of seven mental health therapists in St. Louis, Missouri. The practice works with patients of all ages. They specialize in stress, depression, anxiety, relationships, and other mental health issues. The office is located at: 655 Craig Road, Suite 300, St. Louis, MO 63141.