• 55°

Back-to-school blues are normal

When a child begins a new school year, it can sometimes lead to a period of depression and anxiety for not only the child, but other family members as well. This is particularly true if the child is beginning a milestone year, such as kindergarten, the first year of high school or the first year away at college.

David Shelburne, M.D., family and community medicine physician at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, says parents can experience what is known as “empty nest syndrome” at any stage of a child’s education, not only when he/she goes to college. The feeling is particularly acute in late summer/early fall as school is beginning.

“It’s a very anxiety-provoking time for a parent,” says Shelburne. “There are many unknowns and what-if’s when you drop off your child at school. Around this time, some parents realize they no longer have the same level of control and influence they once had, and others grieve over the gradual fading of childhood.”

The changes a new school year can bring aren’t just difficult for parents. Kids and their siblings can be affected as well.

How Parents Can Cope

To assuage some of your fears, focus on how important school is for your child.

“Children need school to find their path and to discover who they are,” Shelburne said. “Celebrate this opportunity for your child to discover new passions, interests and friendships.”

How Kids Can Cope

Your child may experience a range of emotions – both positive and negative – before the start of school. Help make the transition as smooth by easing your child into his/her new routine slowly over a period of several weeks. For example, begin setting an earlier bedtime and earlier rise time well in advance.

How Siblings Can Cope

When an older brother or sister heads off to school, the child who remains at home may experience a period of loneliness. To mitigate such feelings, redirect your younger child’s attention to a new hobby or event (for example, a swim class or new play group).

If you continue feeling low or your child’s blue mood persists, talk to a doctor or professional counselor. Some of the same methods used for treating general depression and anxiety are ones that will be effective in helping you cope with this transition.

“It’s perfectly natural to experience these emotions during periods of major change,” Shelburne said. “Be sure to seek help – you are certainly not alone.”

Comments

News

Political Notebook: Despite Cooper’s veto, majority of likely voters support school reopening bill, poll finds

Coronavirus

COVID-19 vaccinations in Rowan top positives since start of pandemic

Crime

Man faces drug charges after breaking and entering call

Lifestyle

Waterworks schedules 2021 Summer ARTventures

Crime

Blotter: Man faces drug charges after being found passed out in vehicle

Ask Us

Ask Us: What programs exist for litter cleanup?

Business

County begins accepting restaurant grant applications

Crime

Blotter: Salisbury man charged with nine more felony sex offenses

Nation/World

Biden team readies wider economic package after virus relief

Nation/World

Spacewalking astronauts prep station for new solar wings

Nation/World

Cuomo sorry for remarks aide ‘misinterpreted’ as harassment

Nation/World

Trump calls for GOP unity, repeats lies about election loss

Education

Rowan County administers 700 vaccines, with majority going to local educators

Crime

Shoplifting at Walmart presents challenge for Salisbury police

Local

Commissioners will hear details about changes to solar energy policies

Business

After overcoming obstacles, local barber Daniel King earns registered status

Lifestyle

39th annual K12 student exhibitions go virtual

Business

Biz Roundup: Chamber of Commerce to host ‘Salute to Agri-Business’ at March Power in Partnership

Local

Local legislators back bills ranging from new restrictions on sex offenders to Holocaust education

News

After surviving COVID-19 scare, Lois Willard set to celebrate 100th birthday

High School

Carson rolls over South 41-0 as about 600 allowed in to see season opener for both

Education

East Spencer after-school program looks toward opening, nonprofit status

Lifestyle

Frank Ramsey inducted into the NC Military Veterans Hall of Fame

College

Livingstone’s Stoutamire inducted into 2021 CIAA Hall of Fame