Helping your student adjust to middle or high school this school year

Published: Jul. 27, 2023 at 5:48 PM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - This first day of school, students heading into middle school or high school for the first time may be feeling anxious about the transition.

Margaret Carter is a child and adolescent psychologist at UAB. She said the change can cause some uneasy feelings for students.

“I think about as an adult when you start a new job. You’re anxious about how it’s gonna go, are you gonna find your people, are you gonna learn the different rules and expectations that come along with it,” said Carter.

She said once students are acclimated, they may start to feel more comfortable. She recommends encouraging your student to get involved in activities where they can also make friends.

“A lot of times that could be theatre or the arts, or it can be athletics, or student government.”

If you notice major changes in your child’s behavior, Carter said talk to them to see what’s going on and seek professional help if needed.

“If the kid who was really outgoing is now isolated. Or a kid who was the straight A student is struggling academically and not getting their work done, or all of a sudden big changes in weight or sleep.”

Carter said now is a good time to talk to your child who may be feeling nervous to validate that their feelings are normal.

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