Dealing with back-to-school jitters? Psychologist offers advice

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. - Fear and anxiety may be part of the routine for some children before the first day of school.

Connor Paola, 7, of Cave Creek, has a lot on his mind.

"Maybe not all the people are going to like me...not all my friends are going to be there in my class," he said.

Dr. Everett Bailey, a family therapist with Psychological Counseling Services in Scottsdale, says fear and anxiety may come up when children head back to school. Some children may not be as verbal as Connor.

"Some of that anxiety might show up in (other) ways. They're more irritable or hesitant to do things," Bailey said.

Bailey suggests three things:

First, tell your child what to expect during the school day.
Second, reassure them by scheduling a time to meet after school.
Third, listen to your child's fears and stay positive.

"I think validating those and acknowledging those but also talking to them about all these fun things (they're) going to be able to do and introduced to today," he said.

Connor's dad has his own advice. He's told Connor even if his friends aren't in the same class, they'll have plenty of time to play together outside of school.

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