Back to school can be a stressful time of year, especially if a student is attending a new school. If your child is having a difficult time adjusting to new surroundings, teachers and classmates there are some things parents can do to help reduce their anxieties.
When it rains, it pours!
That's sort of the same feeling Ashley Larson had when she started middle school this year.
Her mom says Ashley was a little stressed out the first week.
“Learning the locker combination was really, really, really nerve wracking for her, everyday she'd come home; I learned it, I forgot it, I learned it, I got it down," Jennifer Burgers said.
Ashley is doing much better now, but some kids find making the transition to middle school even more difficult.
“Anytime we are unfamiliar with a circumstance, we get a little bit antsy about it," Avera Family Life Educator Betty Barto-Smith said.
Parents should look for red flags that will tell them their child is struggling at school.
“First off and probably the one thing parents notice most readily is falling grades," Barto-Smith said.
Barto-Smith says parents can help reduce their child's stress in a lot of ways.
“One of the big things is make sure they get enough sleep that's one of the things we're beginning to recognize is that they're not getting enough sleep," Barto-Smith said.
Barto-Smith says if your child is having difficulties with teachers or classmates; they need to show them respect and in turn, they'll hopefully show respect back.
If problems persist, then the child should talk to their parents or another teacher about their problems.
Finally, she suggests parents getting involved.
“To go to the open houses, to meet the teachers, to meet the staff and administrators and volunteer in the classroom," Barto-Smith said.
For Ashley, just finding the classroom was stressful enough.
"because we walked her schedule and it took us about an hour to walk her schedule, she said 'Mom I only have so many minutes, I don't think I'm going to make it'" Burgers said.
Ashley is making it to class on time, which is one less thing she has to be stressed out about.
Barto-Smith also says parents should make sure their kids are involved in a variety of school activities, but not too many; because that could only add to their stress.