Settling the back-to-school nerves

Kelowna - Tips for parents on how to help kids make the transition to school

Two weeks from today, children and youth will say hello to a new school year. For many it’s an exciting time, but the change in routine can give some kids back-to-school jitters.

Meeting new teachers, worrying about where to sit at lunch, and wondering if they have classes with friends are common sources of anxiety for students of all ages, all the way from pre-school to high school, according to a ministry of health release.

Related: Tips for back-to-school shopping

“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.”

Baer recommends parents plan ahead and gradually expose kids to their environment and new schedule.

Related: Classrooms ready for Central Okanagan

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

Continually seeks comfort and reassurance

Shows extreme shyness, avoiding social situations or events

Raises physical complaints with no medical explanation (stomach aches, headaches, difficulty catching his or her breath)

Throws tantrums, cries or screams excessively

Begins to act in a way that is ‘out of character’, if a sudden and unexpected behavior change is observed

Just Posted

Gold for Kelowna’s Kelsey Serwa

Kelsey Serwa wins the gold medal in thrilling fashion in PyeongChang

RCMP search for missing couple

The couple was last seen leaving their home in Kelowna for Kamloops

Arson considered for Rutland house fire

The fire on Argyll Road last week destroyed the home’s carport

Okanagan real estate agents brace for speculation tax impact

“There’s a real potential for a domino effect to hurt the market in Kelowna.”

Crime Stoppers search for Lake Country suspects

The Central Okanagan Crime Stoppers need your help in finding perpetrator

B.C. Games open with Olympic touch

The 2018 B.C. Winter Games kicked off in Kamloops

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

Great Big Sea fame shares story of abuse, recovery

Séan McCann performs in Vernon March 4 and Kelowna March 5

More snow expected on the Coquihalla, Highway 3

Environment Canada says five to 10 centimetres will come down between Friday and Saturday mornings

New charges against ex-Trump campaign associates

More charges were laid Thursday against President Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman and his business associate

Man accused in death of Winnipeg teen Tina Fontaine not guilty

Raymond Cormier was accused of killing Indigenous 15-year-old and dumping her body in the Red River

Alberta drops B.C. wine boycott, Notley says Horgan ‘blinked’ on pipeline

B.C. government announces court reference on proposed diluted bitumen restriction

UPDATE: Northern Health dealing with lack of 121 registered nurses

Auditor General says officials need to improve internal management, track effect of new policies

B.C. businesses say new health tax will raise prices for consumers

Province announced that MSP will be gone by 2020

Most Read