Madison doctors give tips to mitigate stress as students head back to school

Districts are hoping for a closer to normal school year but with delta variant creating a new...
Published: Sep. 1, 2021 at 3:57 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - Whether children are returning to the classroom or starting school virtually, doctors at UW Health say changes around this year may compound the anxiety students are facing.

Dr. Marcia Slattery, a pediatric psychiatrist, explained that a common trigger for anxiety is the uncertainty about the upcoming school year.

“Who will be my teacher? Will I be able to do the work and get good grades? Will other kids like me? Will my locker work?” posed Dr. Slattery.

Dr. Slattery said additional concerns could include five full days of virtual learning, as well as greater work expectations compared to virtual learning. Children may also be worried about adapting to in-person social situations.

To mitigate anxiety, Dr. Slattery suggests children get into a routine at home, such as doing homework and going to bed at the same time every day.

“It’s all about familiarizing environments so the children know what to expect and when,” said Slattery. “There’s a lot in flux because of the pandemic, but empowering children and families to control what they can goes a long way.”

Parents can also help ease children into their new environment, such as taking them to school or learning drop-off and pick-up areas.

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