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Tips for overcoming back to school jitters

Experts suggest parents plan ahead, talk to children about anxieties, and even do a practice run.

TOLEDO, Ohio — As summertime winds down your child might be left with various emotions - but it’s important to understand where they’re coming from.

As with all big transitions in life, the start of a new school year can be scary for kids and for moms and dads too. But experts say parents can help their kids cope with their first day back to class jitters. 

The first tip is to talk about back-to-school time with your children. Parents are encouraged to be open to talking about a child’s fears before and after the start of the new school year. 

You can also start adjusting their schedules now. The first day of school might be a few days or weeks away, but it’s never too early to start re-adjusting schedules back to early morning mode. That means switching from late nights to reasonable bedtimes and early rising.

Also, your family may need a practice run before the real first day of school. It can be helpful for students and parents to familiarize themselves with a new school or a new classroom. 

Keep in mind first-day jitters and anxiety can happen to any student of all ages. 

"Kids who are obviously exposed to anxiety are more so but it’s very normal for kids of all ages especially in transition years where they’re going to grade school to middle school or middle school to high school, changing teachers, changing friends and different classrooms," said Dr. Robert Mills, chief medical officer at Nationwide Children’s Hospital Toledo. "It’s very common for those age groups to have normal jitteriness this time of the year."  

Mills also recommends parents validate your child’s feelings and understand where their fears and nervous are they’re coming from.   

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