House Call: Back to School Blues
Yet again, summer seems to have flown by, and it’s already time to start getting ready for the new school year. This is when parents begin seeing signs of the “back-to-school blues” in their children, whether it comes in the form of worries about the upcoming year or complaints about re-instating school day routines and losing their summer freedom.
To make the transition back to school easier for families, it’s important for parents to learn helpful tips for reducing worries or resistance in their children. Parents should begin slowly integrated school-year routines back into the family’s schedule several weeks in advance. They should also help their children reconnect with teachers and classmates by attending functions such as the school’s open house.
Parents should be mindful of their attitudes during back-to-school time, and speak positively about learning and education. Parents with children who struggled the previous year, socially or academically, should concentrate on the strengths of the child and help them realize their attributes. It’s also important for parents to recognize signs of problems that may be more severe than just the “back-to-school blues.”
If a child’s back-to-school anxiety is causing changes in their eating and/or sleeping habits and interactions with family and friends, it’s time to seek the help of a behavioral health professional to evaluate and identify any underlying issues. Fortunately, Cone Health has an exceptional network of behavioral health professionals dedicated to helping and counseling children in the community who are struggling with the back-to-school transition and other behavioral health issues compounding the situation.
Leanne Yates is a licensed professional counselor for Cone Health Behavioral Health Hospital’s Intensive Outpatient Program. Leanne received a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from James Madison University in 1999. She earned a Master of Science in counseling and educational specialist degree from University of North Carolina Greensboro in 2001.