MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. - Students can be full of nerves as they head back to the classroom. But there are ways parents and guardians can help.
It's important to know that kids feeling stress will not always say it.
"They may say things like they don't feel well, they have a tummy ache, maybe they're not sleeping as well. Perhaps they may be a little more irritable than usual," explained Dr. Julie Joseph-Di Caprio, Chief of Pediatrics at Hennepin County Medical Center.
So she suggests being sure to listen to your child and give them opportunities to discuss their feelings.
"You can ask them, 'Well, your tummy is hurting. But how were things at school today?' You know, 'Tell me what you like about school. Tell me what you don't like about school.'"
When you find out what is bothering your child, whether it's a new school, friends, schoolwork or something else, Joseph-Di Caprio suggested talking to their teacher so they too can help your child feel less stressed.
"You really want the teacher who is with your child for a large portion of the day to know what's going on," she said.
Other ways to reduce stress? Sleep is very important. Make sure your child is getting enough.
Joseph-Di Caprio said school age children need 9 to 10 hours of sleep and teens need 8.5 to 9.5 hours every night.
Regular meals and a healthy diet are key as well, as is downtime, especially for elementary and middle school kids because getting a chance to read for fun or play with friends can help melt some of that stress away.
"That would help them transition from summer to school," said Joseph-Di Caprio,