The school year can bring up big feelings for kids. They can feel stressed, worried and have concerns about the coming year.

As a parent, it’s important to take those concerns seriously and make sure your child feels loved and supported.

Take their worries seriously.

Don’t brush off issues that might seem silly to you; your child’s worries about friends, crushes, teachers and homework are all valid. Ask open-ended, non-judgemental questions to help them open up and make it easier to talk about their feelings.

Talk about the good stuff.

Rather than using empty statements like, “You’ll be fine”, or “I bet you’ll love it.”; help your child remember good times in previous school years, or previous experiences with friends. Find out things they’re looking forward to and help them get excited about what’s to come.

Be realistic about challenges.

Troubleshoot ways to help them through struggles like hard classes, tough teachers or packed schedules. Let them know you’re in their corner and ready to back them up.

Don’t push too hard.

Sometimes kids just don’t want to talk about it. And that’s okay. When your child is resisting conversation, just let them know you love them, are here to support them and ready to listen whenever they want to talk.

If your child seems consistently nervous, stressed, overwhelmed or upset and refuses to open up, it’s time to get help. You don’t have to do it alone.

Click here to talk to our mental health team.