Skip to Content

COVID-19 Info: Vaccines (5 & up) | Boosters | Testing | Visitor Guidelines | Stats | More

IMPORTANT NOTICE: COVID-19 testing appointments are not available at Cone Health emergency departments or urgent care locations. Click here for testing options.

Published on August 20, 2018

Easing Anxiety & First Day of School Fears

First Day of School

Summer always seems to fly by, and it is already time to start getting ready for the new school year. Around this time, parents may begin noticing signs of anxiety in their children or teens about starting the new school year. Anytime a change is approaching, it is normal for a certain degree of anxiety to occur, whether it’s within a child or an adult.

To make the transition back to school easier for families, it’s important for parents to learn helpful tips for reducing worries or resistance in their children, such as:

  • Slowly integrate school-year routines back into the family’s schedule several weeks in advance. This could mean scheduling activities that involve waking up and getting ready earlier than normal for summer.
  • Discuss what your child’s new schedule will look like ahead of time so they feel a little more comfortable with it, including their morning getting-ready routine. If they are old enough to be changing classes, talk through which classes they’ll go to when.
  • Arrange a visit to the school before classes start so they can get the lay of the land and where they’ll be going each day.
  • Give them something to look forward to after the first day of school. That could mean cooking one of their favorite meals for dinner or scheduling time to watch their favorite TV show when they get home.

If your child or teen’s anxiety about going back to school is becoming severe enough that they start worrying weeks ahead of time, experience gastrointestinal distress, are unable to complete normal tasks, have difficulty getting up in the morning or won’t leave the house, it is time to seek the help of a medical professional to evaluate and identify underlying issues.

Jenna Mendelson, PhD, is a licensed psychologist at LeBauer HealthCare at Oak Ridge and a member of Cone Health Medical Group

2 Your Well-Being

Cone Health and WFMY News 2 are excited to partner together to provide health and wellness information for you and your family. Watch Cone Health experts on television and online.

Tune in to WFMY News 2 every Monday to watch health segments on a variety of wellness topics.