BACK 2 SCHOOL: Tips for students who may show signs of anxiety or behavioral problems

HOUSTON – Back-to-school nerves and anxiety can be worse than just a one-day ordeal. Some kids may show behavioral problems or signs of anxiety.

Here are tips to help:

  • Walk around the school

Dr. Katherine Gallagher, Pediatric Psychologist at Texas Children’s Hospital, said getting comfortable with the campus can help make the new school year a gradual change instead of an abrupt one.

  • Start the morning routine early

Since exploring the campus may not be an easy solution, Gallagher said to try easing into the day with an earlier morning routine. This can help kids prepare for the day without the tension and stress felt during a rushed morning.

  • Be consistent:

Gallagher said behavioral problems are sometimes worse when there’s inconsistency in the routine.

“Be kind but consistent,” she said.

  • Know where information is coming from:

Listen to your child’s concerns and know where they’re getting information.

Gallagher said frequent checking and scrolling online can trigger or reinforce anxiety.

“What are they interpreting from what they’re reading? Because that can be different based on how they’re processing that information and then trying to look for positive items,” Gallagher said.

When kids express fear and concern, remind them your family is a team and you’ll get through it together.

“We don’t always know the answer to everything, but we’re going to be OK with uncertainty,” Gallagher said.