McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

CNHI Special Projects

July 23, 2012

Battle back-to-school blues

Get your kids ready for structured, nerve-wracking days ahead

A summer of baseball, bike-riding and basking in the sunshine is almost in the rearview mirror, and that first day of school is right up the road – good news to some and dreadful news to others. Children of all ages have apprehensions about school, but they don’t have to. Dr. Michelle Kees, a psychiatrist with the University of Michigan Health System, offers her advice for keeping the school outlook as bright as a new pair of sneakers:

Elementary School Children

Parents of first-time or young students often are nervous, and their kids can pick up on that. Keep things comfortable by talking about expectations and feelings. A shopping trip for supplies is both a relaxed and relevant forum for conversation. Having friends in the class also helps to reduce anxiety. Any persisting signs should disappear soon after classes begin.

Middle School Children

Pre-teens may experience as much social pressure during their middle school years as they do academic pressure, and a decrease in openness with parents may make anxiety not as easy to pick up on. Parents should use a change in or reasoning for certain behaviors as a focal point for conversation and to share feelings. A lethargic, withdrawn attitude may be signs of a more serious problem, such as depression.

High School Children

Teenagers can feel very overwhelmed with the pressure to fit in and succeed academically. Their reluctance to talk is all the more reason for parents to keep open lines of communication and an interest in their friends and activities, which may help teens open up. Headaches, dizziness and nausea may be signs of anxiety issues, and shifts in behavior, academic performance and socialization could be signs of depression.

Kids who are reluctant to go to school don’t just wish for extra hours under the covers. Teasing or difficulty learning could lead to school anxiety. Open talks between parents and children can help keep anxiety from becoming a problem, but if it persists they should turn to the school or a medical professional for help.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
CNHI Special Projects
Seasonal Content
AP Video
Raw: More Than 100,000 Gather for Easter Sunday Raw: Greeks Celebrate Easter With "Rocket War" Police Question Captain, Crew on Ferry Disaster Raw: Orthodox Christians Observe Easter Rite Ceremony Marks 19th Anniversary of OKC Bombing Raw: Four French Journalists Freed From Syria Raw: Massive 7.2 Earthquake Rocks Mexico Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Superheroes Descend on Capitol Mall Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Anti-semitic Leaflets Posted in Eastern Ukraine Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest
NDN Video
Jabari Parker's Top 5 Plays From Duke Career Kourtney Kardashian Is a Bikini Babe More Manpower Than Ever Expected At 4/20 Rally Debunk'd: Miley Cyrus AIDS, Cheeseburgers Cause Cancer, Military Warning Bill Previewing the NBA playoffs Raw: Orthodox Christians Observe Easter Rite My name is Cocaine Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Lohan Gets Candid About Her Sex List The 2014 New York Auto Show Meet Johnny Manziel's New Girlfriend Chelsea Clinton Announces Pregnancy Funny: Celebrating Easter with Martha Stewart and Friends Man Accuses 'X-Men' Director Bryan Singer of Sexually Abusing Him As a Teenager Man hit with $525 federal fine after he doesn't pay for soda refill Lea Michele & Naya Rivera Feuding? Jabari Parker declares for the NBA draft Singing Nun Belts Out Cyndi Lauper New West, Texas Explosion Video Swim Daily, Throwback Thursday
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.