Back to school anxiety can be alleviated by open discussions with caretakers

How do you help coach your child through these fears and concerns that they have?
Published: Jul. 14, 2022 at 11:37 AM MST
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PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - Kids are headed back to school, and with that comes anxiety. It’s no surprise given recent headlines.

How do you help coach your child through these fears and concerns that they have? How can you have a frank but open conversation about a tragedy like Uvalde in the face of returning to school? School digital wellness consultant Katey McPherson shared a few ideas with the Good Morning Arizona team on Thursday.

“I think validating that anxiety and fear are natural responses to these kind of events,” McPherson said. “Listening to your child’s fears and not dismissing or minimizing that this is something that they’re concerned about is, I think, first and foremost.” She said that social media platforms can exacerbate your child’s anxiety regarding these kinds of major tragedies, and that while they’re very concerning, are still very rare.

McPherson said that being vulnerable with your child about your own fears and concerns can be very constructive. “On the front of teenagers, they want to take action. There are some great groups like Moms Demand Action that teenagers can take action and volunteer with to help them feel better,” she said. “Sometimes we just need a break from phones and social media, so making sure that we have tech-free dinners and good nutrition is critical.”