Going into a new school year, your child may have concerns about friendships or teachers.
Child Psychiatrist Erin Amato has some advice for parents and kids.
She said it's important for parents to ask their kids about friendships. Their kids may not speak up otherwise.
A good way to make new friends is to look for kids who are new to the school. Amato said sometimes it's okay to be alone for a little while, rather than be involved in friendship drama.
She said, "I think a lot of it is helping kids understand that the difficulties they are going through with their friendships won't last forever. It may feel very lonely and very isolating, if they feel rejected, but these things won't last forever. And, sometimes it's okay to be alone and looking for the right friends, rather that putting up with some of the drama that goes on."
Amato said there can be a lot of emphasis on being popular, but trying to be popular is often not a great goal. She said often what is popular is not what is kind or healthy.
She advised parents and kids to go into the school year with an open mind about working with teachers with different teaching styles. She said sometimes the most challenging teachers can be the ones you learn the most from. She also said learning to work with different personalities is an important life lesson.
Amato said, "It's kind of like being out in the real world. As kids grow up and they go out and they get jobs, you don't always get to pick the style of coworkers or bosses that you work under. So, this is part of one of those life lessons, learning to work with different personality styles."
She said kids really thrive on consistent routines: things like sleep schedules, homework schedules and meal planning.
Parents should watch for signs of depression in their kids. Signs include losing interest in things they used to do, having difficulty sleeping, or sleeping excessively during the day, withdrawing from friends and dropping grades.
Amato advises everyone to look at the new school year as a clean slate. She said it's a chance to learn new things and make new friends.