When Kids Can't Adjust

By this time of the school year, most kids are in the swing of things but it can be tougher for some children.

Starting kindergarten is one of the trickiest times for students. Meadows Elementary School counselor Deb Hess says that's because children are thrown into an environment where suddenly the focus isn't solely on them and they have to behave within a structure. Most still manage to catch on in a few weeks, but Hess says every child has a different way of reacting to changes.

The key thing is to watch your child around the house and ask questions of the teachers at school. Dr. Taylor Porter, a psychiatrist with Stormont-Vail West, says parents should be concerned when the blues turns into weeks of not being themselves, not eating, not coming out of their room or not participating. He says if children are not meeting their developmental goals, which he says are to do well in school and to be able to play and have fun, for an extended period of time, it's a warning sign.

Left unchecked the anxiety could turn into depression or other disorder. School isn't the only trigger. A child also goes through transition if there's a traumatic event at home, like a death in the family, or a child can be affected by news events, like school violence.

More helpful advice for parents is available at the following links:

http://www.partnershipforlearning.org/category.asp?CategoryID=46

http://www.rif.org/parents/articles/kids_adjust_school.mspx

http://www.nea.org/parents/index.html


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