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Psychologist offers advice on talking to your kids about returning to school

Doctor David Prescott a psychologist from Acadia Hospital says an unknown future is one of the...
Doctor David Prescott a psychologist from Acadia Hospital says an unknown future is one of the leading causes of anxiety.(AP)
Published: Jul. 20, 2020 at 6:15 PM EDT
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BANGOR, Maine (WABI) - As school plans for the fall remain a work in progress, how do you talk to your kids about going back to school?

Likely things will be different no matter the schedule their school decides on.

Doctor David Prescott a psychologist from Acadia Hospital says an unknown future is one of the leading causes of anxiety.

He says it's totally normal for kids, parents and school staff alike to feel anxious due to an uncertain school schedule.

Prescott recommends simply talking to your children.

He says often times things are much worse or much more scary in their heads than the actual situation.

”Just asking what do you think is going to happen at lunchtime or at recess time or in the morning can be really helpful. Then you can kind of shape and guide that toward I think this is it or no I don’t think that’s going to happen.” says Prescott.

Doctor Prescott also says practicing a situation or thinking through it with your child can be extremely helpful.

He says, ”For example, if your really young kid is going to have to wear a mask and they aren’t used to doing that, you can practice a little bit. So, you can practice around the house or make sure when they go out they get used to the routine of putting that mask on and practice makes anxiety go away.”

He also reminds parents while it’s normal to feel anxious about an unknown future, don’t let your kids get bogged down by that anxiety.

He says help them focus on some of the positives that come with the start of a new school year like learning new subjects.

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