Signs Kids are Overwhelmed With Back-to-School Stress
The stress may be too much if it interferes with day-to-day functioning
Going back to school can mean a lot of stress for students, whether that’s worrying about fitting in or doing well in class.
Experts say transitioning from summer to the school year is often a total 180 for kids.
“You kind of go from not a lot of expectations to all of a sudden having every hour your day planned and a lot more demanding mental needs from what school requires,” Shauna Erickson, clinical supervisor and child therapist at The Village Family Service Center, said.
She says some of the common things kids worry about include who to sit with at lunch or if they’ll be able to get their locker open.
It’s important to remember that while some of this may seem trivial, for students, it’s the lens through which they see their life.
“A lot of times nervousness or anxiety feels like when we feel like there are unknowns or there’s something that’s not in our control. I think if we can help kids feel prepared and know they have everything they need in order to be successful in school, that can be really helpful,” she said.
Some of the warning signs that show a child isn’t dealing with stress well is if it’s affecting day-to-day functioning, like sleep or eating, or if kids become socially withdrawn.
“Anything that’s a deviation from what we’d normally expect from our kids is when we want to pay attention and watch for how that’s panning out,” Erickson said.
She also says parents should try to not emit their own stressful energy onto kids.
Some stress and anxiety is natural, especially when it comes to doing well in school, but it when affects day–to–day functioning for a couple of weeks, that’s when it might be time to see specialist.
“Anxiety is a natural part of being a high-functioning human, we just want to help our kids and teens harness that so they can use that to be the best possible versions of themselves,” Erickson said.
If you’d like more information on seeing a therapist at The Village, click here.