School year Fears: the conversation to have with anxious kids
Toledo, Ohio (WNWO)-- One in 8 children will experience anxiety. Child behavior experts say with school starting soon that too can be a trigger
"A lot of kids right now, we've already seen it," said Kelli Shook, coordinator for Local organization Bullfrogs against Bullying. "They're starting their anxiety about going back to school. They're actually not looking forward to the first day of school."
Shook says she can remember when it happened in her own family.
"My daughter experienced bullying which is why she started bullfrogs and it was more of a mean girl situation type thing going on. Some rumors were spread and people started calling her names and shunning her."
After one difficult year, the bullying stopped. But because bullies are everywhere, pediatrician Dr. Rabia Akbar says it's important to have talks before the bell rings and ask your kids questions.
"What about the situation is making you nervous and that usually points us in the right direction."
Let kids know that you empathize with them and maybe even use an example of someone who has the same fears but is successful. Also talk with your child's teacher and school counselors about making a plan.
New locations, new people--experts say it's a lot of things can contribute to anxiety, but it's important to let them know they're not alone.
"Find mentors, and clubs and activities that will help you use your voice," said Shook.
If your child isn't willing to talk, there are red flags that something might be wrong.
"Their sleep, their appetite, their behavior, they either become too reclusive or have temper tantrums, that is something parents have to watch for," said Dr. Akbar.
One out of every five kids report bullying according to the national bully prevention center. This is why specialists say it's important for them to know how to deal with buillies.
"Not interact with them, if they say something walk away or stare at them blankly or turn to a friend, but don't engage with them because they're looking for that reaction from you," said Shook.