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Helping kids deal with back-to-school anxiety

Posted at 11:45 AM, Aug 01, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-01 14:45:36-04

(KERO) — August is here and that means it's time for kids to start thinking about going back to school. And it can be a lot to process for kids right now in light of the highly publicized mass shootings, increased COVID activity, inflation, and other distractions nationwide.

David Schonfeld, director of the National Center for School Crisis and Bereavement at Children's Hospital Los Angeles says first to recognize that you should be having these talks because by not saying something he says you're actually saying a lot to kids.

"It says either you're completely uninformed yourself, or you do know what's going on, but you don't want to or you're not able to talk about it. You don't have any way you think you can help them or you really don't even want to take the time. I mean these are all bad messages."

Schonfeld says parents should be having these conversations with their children now rather than just waiting until they go back to school. He says to start the conversation by asking did you hear about this? And then from there ask what their concerns are.

And while you're thinking about inflation and its impact on the economy your kids may be stressed about having enough lunch money or being able to buy a new backpack.

Schonfeld says parents need to learn to cope with distressing feelings rather than pretend they don't or shouldn't exist.

And while you don't have to overshare you can use this as an opportunity to share something as a way to model how you react when you're anxious.

Schonfeld says if they're upset for several days or can't overcome their fears or anxiety it's time to see outside help from a school counselor or mental health professional.

Another way parents can help their kids before school starts is to take them to free tutoring at St. John Missionary Baptist Church. It's located on East Brundage Lane.

The program starts Monday and runs each day through Friday from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.

It's being led by local black educators living and working in our community. It promotes a fun interactive literacy program.

To register call (605) 532-8417 or visit Willie J Frink College Prep.