MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — It’s already time for kids to head back to school.

With that transition can come a lot of anxiety. WCCO’s Kate Raddatz shares tips for helping your child adjust from kindergarten to college.

Freshman are going through orientation at the University of St Thomas, which starts the Fall semester next week.

“I get nervous. It’s mostly just finding my way around the campus. I’ve only been here a few times, I have no idea where stuff is,” St. Thomas freshman Grace Hellman said.

Anxiety is real for all age groups. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that more than two million children in America have been diagnosed with anxiety disorders. Close to five percent of those are between the ages of 6 and 11.

“It’s important to realize that some anxiety is normal,” Deb Broderick said.

Deb Broderick is a staff psychologist at the University. She says the key is knowing the difference between normal worries and serious anxiety.

She says only if it’s affecting their day-to-day life, can it be more serious.

“Are they spending too much time in their rooms? Are they skipping classes or missing classes? Do they seem excessively worrying, looking for reassurance from you?” Broderick said.

Psychologists say for younger children, practicing school routines like an earlier bed time will help them adjust.

“My mom was always really supportive of doing anything and everything to help me prepare,” one student said.

Deb says if your child is older, it can help to let them dictate their schedules and give them more independence. And no matter what, don’t brush off hesitations about school.

“Really meet them where they are, that those are OK feelings to have,” Broderick said.

Kate Raddatz

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