It’s back to school for students soon and that can be very stressful for kids.

Dr. Marcia Slattery from UW-Health Pediatrics says parents should know that developmental changes in tweens and teens can drive anxieties. 

“During an earlier grade school, the focus is really on activities and tasks. Whereas when we’re moving into middle school and high school, it’s much more a gradual shift to a social emphasis. And that can be incredibly confusing.”

Dr. Slattery says parents should keep up with the interactions their children are having with other students, and not simply focus on academic scores. “They’re just not quite sure how to put all the pieces together yet. So parents need to have some flexibility and give some room for kids to understand and learn what’s happening.”

She says you should keep an eye on your child’s social life and make sure they’re getting support at a time when they’re figuring out who they are as a person.

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