Communication a factor in managing back-to-school stress - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Communication a factor in managing back-to-school stress

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(WFSB photo) (WFSB photo)

Summer time is almost over and that means it's back to school for students.

Getting back into a routine can be great for some parents and children who like school; however, it can also be a stressful time.

Cody Bernaiche, a fourth grader, said he's excited for the new school year.

"The times tables, the math, I love writing with all my friends," he told Eyewitness News.

Cody's mother said she understands that it can be stressful on a child.

"I have an older son who is in high school and his transition going back to school is little harder than the younger one, but we'll get through it," said Susan Bernaiche, Cody's mother.

To help alleviate some pre-school stress, a child and adolescent psychiatrist at St. Francis Hospital in Hartford recommended parents focus on what she thinks is the major culprit.

"The miscommunication, the lack of communication is the main factor," said Mahreen Raza, who is a child and adolescent psychiatrist.

Parent-child communication about stress is key in solving the problem altogether, according to Raza.

She said transitioning into a new schedule can be tough for children and take a toll on how much sleep they get.

Raza recommended starting a child's back-to-school routine before they actually go back to school.

"Stick to the schedule of waking up times, bed times, and meal times two to three weeks earlier than school begins," she said.

While bed time needs to be firm, letting children have a little control can help ease the transition. It can be letting them pick their own clothes or lunch snacks.

"Give them choices," Raza said. "Give them some sense of control so that they can have some excitement about the beginning of school."

If those tips don't work, there are a few methods that can help children who have a hard time coping with stress.

Raza said there's always listening to music, painting, drawing and simply taking a walk outside.

If the stress still doesn't go away, Raza said parents may want to call their pediatrician to make sure nothing more serious is happening.

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