MINNEAPOLIS - As children and parents anticipate the start of a new school year, experts say it’s common to feel both excitement and concern. While it's easy to focus on the material aspects of getting ready for school, like new clothes and school supplies, emotional issues need

to be addressed. Whether a child is starting preschool, middle school, or even college, parents play a key role in helping their child get the year off to a good start. Developmental psychologist Dr. Marti Erickson, co-host of “Mom Enough”, shares some
important parenting tips.

Common Student Back-to-School Concerns at Different Ages

Pre-school and kindergarten:

Separation anxiety

• Worries about routines (foods, going to the bathroom, needing help)

• Concerns about what the teacher(s) and other kids will be like


Anxiety about academic performance

• Worries about peer relations (rejection, teasing, bullying)

• Special concerns about race relations, political divisiveness,

in light of recent events in the news

Middle school:

Anxiety about managing multiple classes (finding way around building, organizing work demands

• Worries about peer relations (even more intense than in elementary school)

High school:

Same as middle school, but with increasing pressure to succeed

• Worries about identity, life plans, choosing higher education

• Emerging concerns about dating, sexuality, romantic relationships

Ways Parents Can Help Kids Ease Back-to-School Anxiety

• Listen to your child & take feelings seriously

• Visit the building during teacher prep week

• Connect with other kids who will be in the same class

• Role-play how to deal with tough situations

Connect with other parents & teachers to promote a school culture of

acceptance & respect