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Back To School: Anxiety or Excitement?

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It's a time of many changes for students, their families and communities with the start of classes in most of Michigan.

September can often feel more like the beginning of a new year than January for most people.

Routines change abruptly and we go from barbecues to backpacks, from swimming in pools to driving in carpools.
I spoke with Dr. Sylvia Norris Jones, a professor of educational psychology in the school of Education at Eastern Michigan University, she says it takes effort to ease back into school...


Credit Eastern Michigan University
Dr. Sylvia Norris Jones is a professor of educational psychology at Eastern Michigan University.

  Jones says there are some things parents can help their children transition:

  • Playing down expectations can help minimize anxiety.
  • Listen to your kids and keep them engaged. 
  • Use compassion and empathy to help them open up.
  • If we as adults open up about our experiences, kids are more likely to jump back in. A sense of humor can also help.

Ask them questions that give them a chance to talk about what went on in their school day. Asking more open-ended questions that require more in-depth answers can help avoid short, uninformative answers. If it doesn't work, Jones suggests you "fake it until you make it."
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  Lisa Barry is the host of All Things Considered on WEMU. Contact : 734-487-2229,  lisa@wemu.org or on Twitter @LisaWEMU 

Lisa Barry was a reporter, and host of All Things Considered on 89.1 WEMU.
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