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Colorado doctor's advice: how to help your child battle back-to-school butterflies

How to help your child battle back-to-school butterflies
How to help your child battle back-to-school butterflies 04:21

Heading back to school can be an exciting time, but it can also bring some anxiety for children. On CBS News Colorado, we talked to a clinical psychologist about how parents can help kids manage their worries and prepare for a successful school year.

Dr. Anat Geva from the HealthONE Behavioral Health and Wellness Center recommends first asking your child questions about their well-being. That includes being direct, and simply asking if they are anxious about school. Dr. Geva advises parents normalize any anxiety their child is feeling.

"We're all anxious when we do new things, so normalize and validate. Then set up positive expectations. If your child seems reluctant, maybe identify one or two things they can do to help themselves to get closer to those goals."

Mother embracing young daughter before school
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Dr. Geva says if the anxiety is getting in the way of your child's ability to enjoy the last few days of summer, or they are struggling with sleep or eating, you may want to seek professional help.

"If parents feel like nothing they are doing is helping, or their kids are getting worse, then it is time to get a professional opinion."

Father packing daughters backpacks for school
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There are also plenty of resources for parents as well, including the school's counseling department.

"I think that sometimes we forget that parents are also human. It doesn't matter how long you've parented, there's always struggles and challenges. What I really urge and recommend is connecting to one another. It's really important to connect your child, but also connect to other parents who are going through the same thing and ask them what is working for them."

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