Helping children cope with back-to-school anxiety

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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - Going back to school means your kids may be dealing with some first day jitters. A little anxiety comes with the territory but for some children all the changes of a new school year can be very stressful.

Child psychologists say the key to helping your child cope with that anxiety is figuring out what's causing that it. That can be a number of things ranging from fears about teachers, riding the school bus to even who to play with at recess. Dr. Natalie Moser who works with kids and their families says part of the problem is kids don't always open-up about what their fears are, so for parents it's important to know what signs to look for.

"There will be a subset of kids that will likely struggle with the transition back to something new," Moser said. "You might see that in the form of trouble sleeping, trouble eating, complaining of stomach aches, or just kind of refusing or being unwilling to get to school."

If you're child is showing some of those signs, Moser recommends trying to ease them back into school. Many districts hold meet and greets letting kids visit their classroom and meet their teacher before the first day. She also says getting kids involved in after school activities can help get them excited for school.

Doctors say your child may need to talk to a professional. The red flags to look for are refusing to go to school, withdrawing from friends and dropping grades.