The new school year comes with a lot of change for children — a different classroom, teacher, peers and learning material. That change can cause anxiety in some children, especially if they struggle at school and are dreading the return.
You can help your child start the school year with confidence by discussing any anxiety they may feel and talking through what they can expect.
“We have to make sure that kids are ready and comfortable,” said Wellstar Pediatrician Dr. Hebah Pranckun. “We should validate their feelings and let them know being nervous and anxious about school is normal.”
- Encourage conversations. Talk with children about the upcoming school year and some changes they can expect so they feel a bit more prepared. Role play any situations they’re nervous about and brainstorm possible solutions.
- Visit the school. If children are new to a school, especially if they are younger, arrange a time to visit the school and see the classroom.
- Plan ahead. After the first few days of school, check in with your child about how the year is going so far. Then, look ahead at what the rest of the year could be like.
Start the year strong with a wellness screening
One way to begin the school year with confidence is to have a healthy start and book a preventative care check-up. While wellness screenings are important for helping children grow up healthy, going to the doctor can be a stressful or scary experience for some children.
“I try to do whatever I can to make life better, whether it's treating their acute illness or helping them work through the troubles that they're having, so that when they leave my office, I've given them something to hold onto that is going to make life better for them,” said Wellstar Pediatrician Dr. Andrew Doyle.
Wellstar’s pediatricians will get to know the whole family and ease your child’s fears about their check-up.
“You have to get down on their level, whether that means squatting on the floor or sitting next to them on the table. Let them know that you're not a threat and this should be their comfort zone,” Dr. Pranckun said. “All the attention goes to them, whether it's a high-five or asking what their favorite sport is.”
Find a pediatrician near you and book your child’s back to school check-up so they start the year healthy.