How to help kids adjust to a new school

(WFLA) — Getting back into the school routine is difficult enough, now imagine having to do that at in a new environment, in a new school.

While your kids may not be telling you this – they may need your help. They may have signs of anxiety, which parents should look out for. Not having friends or knowing what to expect academically at a new school can be scary for kids.

“They may show it as worry or they may become irritable or they may become withdrawn, or they may act out,” said Psychologist Dr. Wendy Rice. “If there’s any way to practice between now and then, talking to people, or thinking about what are you’re afraid is going to happen.”

As the first day approaches, don’t skip orientation. Students will learn how to get around and can even make a new friend.

Also, if students are allowed, decorating a locker can help students learn about one another.

But more importantly, Dr. Rice suggests students be themselves, and say “hello” to their classmates. It may be an acquired skill in the age of texting and social media.

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“So if you walk around like this, you know, frowning not smiling. and you look withdrawn or unhappy you’re not that approachable,” she explains. “But if you walk around and you do make eye contact with people and smile and you say hi then you become an approachable person.”

Dr. Rice recommends once you see a pattern of worry and avoidance, that may be the time for you to consult a professional and get some professional help.

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