Prepping for Back to School
Prince George, B.C. – There is just a little over a week left of the summer break for students, and the BC Children’s Hospital says now is the time to start getting those students prepared for their school year routine.
While some students may be excited to be reuniting with classmates, others may be a little anxious.
“Children and youth can build up a lot of stress and anxiety about having to get back into a routine and what to expect when the new school year begins,” said Dr. Susan Baer, psychiatrist in the Mood and Anxiety Disorders clinic at BC Children’s Hospital. “These feelings are normal, and there are steps parents can take now to help ease the transition from summer break to the new school year.”
Dr. Baer recommends parents plan ahead and gradually expose kids to their environment and new schedule.
Tips for parents and caregivers:
- Get into a routine one to two weeks before school starts: plan nutritious meals and snacks as well as morning/bedtime habits
- Talk to your child about what may be worrying them: try role-playing through situations they may face at school
- Plan for transitions, including getting to school and returning to school after vacations
- Throughout the school year, encourage your child to share his or her fears by setting up a regular time to talk
- Help your child develop healthy coping and problem-solving skills
- Be mindful of your own behaviour—model confidence and comfort when your child is anxious
- Focus on the positive and celebrate small accomplishments
Consider seeking more help if your child does the following:
- Frequent attempts to remain at home or with a caregiver
- Refuses to attend school on certain days (field trips)
- Refuses to eat in public
- Refuses to use public bathrooms
- Worries constantly