The Roundup -

Richland County Partnership for Promise Back to School Anxiety


The thrill is in the air, calendars are out, enrollment is approaching and the school supplies are ready to be purchased! For many, it is a great time of year, but for others it is an anxiety- ridden ride for parents and children. There are many reasons back to school can be hard for a lot people. Homework, busy schedules, teachers, bullies, athletics; it can all be stressful.

Am I good enough to play this year? Will I always be in trouble for my homework again?

I don’t want to be next to that other kid in my class because he always makes fun of me or hurts me.

Will I have the right clothes this year? Will anyone talk to me?

Parents want to eliminate all these stressors for their kids, but there really is no way to take care of everything, and a lot of kids never say anything. So talking to your kids, planning and practicing may add some relief to those what if questions many have.

-Explain that it is normal to be concerned and feel nervous.

-Take advantage of opportunities of open houses to visit the school so the child knows their new environment.

-Be realistic and optimistic about your expectations for your child during the next school year.

-Start “practicing” the school year schedule by discussing it, planning and then implementing the hours a few weeks before school to ensure no one is tired the first few stressful days of school.

-Encourage your child to participate in a sport or extracurricular activities based on their interests, not your own.

-Help build your child’s self-esteem by praising and encouraging and letting them know they are loved, valued and safe and that they matter.

-When it comes to drugs, tobacco and alcohol, remind your child they are their own person and they make their own decisions and that you want them to make the best decision for themselves, not because others do it. This time of year is when your kids meet new friends and reconnect with old friends and peer pressure can be overwhelming.

These tips will help you keep the lines of communication open with your children and reassure them that they are not going to school without support and they have someone they can trust to talk to about their fears and anxiety. As with most things, planning, preparing and being able to discuss fears help people make good decisions and be more successful. (KNOW!, 2012)

The Richland County Partnership for Promise brings community members and resources together to provide a healthy and supportive environment for the youth of Richland County! If you are interested in being a part of the Partnership or would like more information, contact Missy Smies at 433-4097 or


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