Back To School: Behavioral Health

Post by Bhumi Bhavsar, Behavioral Health Therapist

The kids are finally back in school!  Have you noticed that your child/children seem to be more anxious or isolated or irritable since it is back to school time?  If so, take a few minutes to ask them why they feel this way.  Sometimes it is hard for kids to tell their parents how they are feeling, but their behaviors and demeanors can definitely tell you a lot.

Kids could be scared to return to a place where they feel they are being bullied, whether on the bus, in school, at lunch, in the classroom.  So take a few minutes to ask you kids if they are being bullied in school.  This is a huge problem in our society today that gets ignored by so many.   Ask your kids questions related to being bullied/harassed/picked on in school, and don’t limit it to just peers.  It is important to make sure they don’t feel their teachers or other adults are bullying them as well.  Bullying has tremendous effects on kids, their behaviors and emotions.  They could have difficulty paying attention and focusing, decreased self esteem, increased anxiety/fear, lack of motivation, irritability, refusing to do schoolwork, being defiant at school, not doing school work, the list goes on.  If you notice your child begins to exhibit some of the above behaviors, take a few minutes to ask them what is going on.

Do you notice that now your child has started school, he or she has started texting you more frequently and making some excuse or another for you to go pick them up?  Have you noticed they have started giving you more of a fight in the morning prior to going to school?  Do they tell you it is hard for them to breath around all those other kids?  If so, your child may be experiencing some social anxiety related to the crowded hallways and number of people in a small area.  Don’t tell your kids they are making excuses, rather listen to what they have to say.

If your kids are experiencing some of the above mentioned behaviors or others, don’t hesitate to contact your nearest HealthNet center to schedule an appointment with one of our behavioral health therapists.

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