What parents can do to ease their child’s anxiety during middle school years

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Who remembers their middle school years? Or better yet who doesn’t want to? It’s not an easy time for most.

For students heading back to class at this point in life, anxiety may build over new stresses in life.

“Hormonal changes are also a big factor in our teens going into middle school. They may have worries that may not be associated with the school itself, but what’s going on in their bodies and what’s changing within themselves,” says licensed mental health counselor Stephanie Moir.

That anxiety could just be the beginning of a life long battle. The National Institute of Mental Health says 1 in 4 children who are 13 to 18 years of age will develop anxiety in their lifetime.

“You want to make sure that you normalize that and you understand where they’re coming from so you can have a whole dialogue based around that,” says Moir.

Counselors say parents not dealing with their child’s anxiety early on could have severe consequences down the road.

“I love that idea for establishing trust with them, because then that gives them a good opportunity to keep talking to you about things that may worry you,” says Moir.

The biggest take away for parents, listening is the key. Listening to your child can make all the difference.

Tomorrow morning on News Channel 8 Today we’re going to high school. Find out what these students are most worried about.

Stephanie Moir of Serene Mind Psychology has a websiteblog and Facebook page.

Be sure to watch WFLA News Channel 8 from 4:30 to 7 a.m. during the month of August. Every morning, we’ll bring you a special back-to-school story to help you and your family prepare for the school year.

MORE WFLA Back-to-School Coverage

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