Anxiety is heightened when kids go back to school during a typical year but given the pandemic, both kids and parents are more anxious than ever about being back to school in person after remote learning for so long.
How can we help our kids manage anxiety about being back in a school building? How can we spot the signs of anxiety and how do we talk to younger kids versus teenagers about their feelings? How do we get our kids to open up to us?
We asked Dr. Minion these questions and more. Watch his interview to learn about strategies to support your kids as they begin the new school year and to recognize the signs of anxiety and how it manifests in our kids.
A good starting point, according to Dr. Minion, is to monitor and look out for anxiety in your kids. “We don’t want to necessarily expect it to always be there or force kids to feel our own anxieties but checking in with them and letting them feel safe to be able to talk about what they’re feeling and sharing your feelings as well can be helpful,” he says. It’s also valuable to “have time set aside to discuss what they’re feeling” either at dinner or another time in your day. If signs of anxiety are extreme, a good first step is to call your pediatrician who can refer you to an expert. Head to atlantichealth.org/kidsbehavioralhealth for more information.
Watch the video below:
Jason Minion, MD, is part of Atlantic Health System’s Atlantic Medical Group, providing general outpatient psychiatric services to youth, and is also part of the team at the Eating Disorder Program at Goryeb Children’s Hospital. Dr. Minion completed his psychiatry residency and child and adolescent psychiatry fellowship at Robert Wood Johnson Medical School.