How parents can prevent back to school anxiety, bullying

How parents can prevent back to school anxiety, bullying

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - The back-to-school jitters are a completely normal feeling for students of all ages to have, even in college!  After a summer break it's hard to get back in the routine.  WMBF News reporter Meredith Helline caught up with a local family counselor to find out ways to make the back to school transition easier for you and your kids.

Local counselor Bruce Lynch said things as easy as making school lunches the night before, organizing a homework spot at home, meeting the new teacher ahead of time, and arranging play dates with classmates can help the transition.  He said not to forget to highlight the things that make school great like friends, new school supplies and activities. Also, remind your child they're not the only one that may be nervous.

"Try to get them acclimated to the new school environment.  A lot of schools do some sort of orientation to help the child with that.  Meet the teacher, see the classroom...making sure you know, just simple knowing where the restrooms or bathrooms are.  Where will they have lunch at? You know, where will they be dropped off or picked up?  A lot of those things can help ease the anxiety," Lynch said.

He also suggested Tuesday would be a good day to drive your child by their school, and if you can, be home when they get home to talk about their day during these first few weeks.  Lynch said from his experience, this will ease the transition for your student, no matter what their age.

Besides anxiety, a bullying issue could have something to do with your child's hesitation to head back to school.  Back to school anxieties can have a lot to do with how your child is treated, or treats others at school.  There are three types of bullying: kids who are bullied, kids who bully others and kids who see bullying.

Despite the role your child might play in a bullying situation, Lynch said it's important for you as a parent to ask them about their day and to teach the importance of acceptance.

He said when you're investigating an incident to keep the kids separate, get the story from different sources, don't blame anyone and refrain from calling an act "bullying."

Also, don't be critical of the child if they come to you to talk.  Lynch said here's some good questions to ask to put you more in the know:

"Talking to your child about you know, 'Where'd you sit at school? Or 'Where'd you sit at the lunch room or the lunch table? Who'd you hang out with on the playground?' Ask them some of those questions and see what type of answers you can come up with."

Complaining frequently of feeling sick and being outright about not wanting to attend school are signs of bullying.  Of course there's unfortunately many types of ways to bully, but counselors say talking with your child and relaying information to the school is the best way to solve the problem.

Lynch said contacting the parents of the other child will make a situation worse.

Copyright 2016 WMBF News. All rights reserved.