Experts urge parents to talk stressors with kids as they return to the classroom

DAYTON — As exciting as going back to school can be for kids, anxiety over tragedies like active shooters or weather emergencies, medical complications, and bullying can be something parents and students find themselves stressing over.

Experts say there are steps parents can take to help kids feel less worried about what they could face when walking into school every day.

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Lori Olin, a safety expert with Allied Universal, said parents should have open communication with their school. They should know the protocols for emergencies and pick out safe adults that your child can go to for help.

Dr. Whitney Raglin Bignall, a pediatric psychologist and associate clinical director of “On Our Sleeves,” said now is the time to address any concerns with your child and see how they’re feeling. To help facilitate those discussions, “On Our Sleeves” has created resources for parents which include conversation starters.

Megan Schmidt is a mother of a fifth-grader. She said finding questions to help her get to the root of an issue with her daughter, Sophia, has been helpful. Sophia said having those conversations helps her as well.

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“It helps a lot because I feel like I can get it off my mind and help me not worry,” she said.

Olin also said parents should show kids how to be online safely by not sharing their passwords, not talking to strangers, and giving them ways to cope with online bullying.

Experts encourage parents to continue to check in with their children during the school year and problem-solve as a family with teachers to address any issues.

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