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Helping Kids with Back-to-School Anxiety

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EUGENE, Ore. — The sunny and playful days of summer vacation are almost over. And with the end of summer comes a rush of emotion for some students.

“Being a freshman if the work’s harder, homework – getting cut off the football team because of grades,” said student Joseph Michaelson.

“I’ve got mixed feelings. I mean there’s a lot of bigger kids. I mean you’re going from the top to the bottom,” said student Chance Haley.

But according to licensed psychologist Craig Steinberg those before-school jitters are heightened for certain age groups.

“Going from elementary to middle, middle to high – one of the biggest areas of anxiety is going from elementary to middle school,” said Steinberg.

Transition is hard, but Steinberg says as long as parents know how to help and guide kids through the stress, they’ll get through it.

“It comes down to reassurance and confidence that he can do it,” Steinberg said.

“How was your new school? And they don’t always answer that question right away but eventually they’re like yeah I had a good day at school,” said Natasha Dowell, mother.

Dowell has two kids, to help with the back-to-school transition.

She says she talks with them after school to hash out their day, something that Steinberg says is key to helping a child get through that anxiety.

“There’s a lot that happens during the day and a kid’s going to be excited to a level of telling, maybe not every detail but to know that the parent is interested I think that goes a long way,” Steinberg said.

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