Back-to-school anxiety in kids: What to watch out for

By Gail Belsky

At a glance

  • Many kids are anxious about going back to school.

  • If they’ve fallen behind in reading or math, they may worry about catching up.

  • Kids have to adjust to everything from socializing to schedules.

Some kids get anxious over the start of school every year. That’s especially true for kids who struggle with learning or with making friends, and those with anxiety.

Here are some things kids are likely to be anxious about as school starts this year:

  • Being behind and not being able to catch up
  • Not knowing their teacher
  • Not fitting in with kids in their new class
  • Not being prepared for changes or not knowing what to expect
  • School safety

Kids may need extra support as they head back to school. But families and educators can ease the transition and help kids manage anxiety.

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    About the author

    About the author

    Gail Belsky is executive editor at Understood. She has written and edited for major media outlets, specializing in parenting, health, and career content.

    Reviewed by

    Reviewed by

    Jerome Schultz, PhD is a clinical neuropsychologist and lecturer in the Harvard Medical School Department of Child Psychiatry.