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Baylor College of Medicine News

Start of school year doesn’t have to be stressful

Stress isn’t just for adults - as children start the new school year they too can face stressful situations. Doctors at Baylor College of Medicine offer some tips on how to help your child cope with the start of the school year. 

“Over the summer break many children have a schedule that includes staying up late or sleeping in,” said Dr. James Bray, associate professor and psychologist in the department of family and community medicine at BCM. “A week or more before school begins, start enforcing a stricter bed time to help ease them into their new schedule.”

Identifying fears, anxieties

Talking with your child about the upcoming year is another way to help. If a child is changing schools or even starting new classes, anxiety and fear could be anissue.

“Sometimes it helps to simply talk about their concerns,” said Bray. “There might even be opportunities to plan ahead, such as meeting their new teacher before the school year starts.”

Extracurricular activities

Another concern could be extracurricular activities and time management. Children can get overinvolved with after-school activities or take on too much at once, which could interfere with their academic work.

“It is important to get your child’s input on how they see themselves handling the new challenges, not only at the start of the year but throughout the year. You may be able to help adjust their schedules or help them reevaluate their priorities.”

Bray also suggests talking with your child about their goals and what they want to accomplish. That can include not only academics and after school activities, but social goals as well.