July 31, 2023
As students across the Las Vegas Valley return to their classrooms, the back-to-school jitters have set in for many. From making new friends to meeting new teachers, the beginning of a new academic year can bring a wave of emotions. To help families cope with this transition, Dr. Sid Khurana, Medical Director at Nevada Mental Health, shared his expertise on the subject in a recent interview on ABC 13 News Las Vegas.
The Importance of a Safe Space at Home
Dr. Khurana emphasized the significance of creating a safe emotional space at home where children can openly express their anxieties and fears. Parents should encourage open dialogue, allowing their children to say things like "Mom or Dad, I feel anxious."
“It’s Absolutely Normal”
One key takeaway from Dr. Khurana's interview was the normalcy of back-to-school anxiety. "It’s absolutely normal for children of any grade to be having anxiety about returning to school," he assures. This understanding helps to diminish the stigma around these feelings.
Validation is Key
In a society where emotional validation is often lacking, Dr. Khurana stressed its importance. "We cannot validate enough in our society," he stated. He encourages parents to genuinely listen and validate their children’s emotions, reinforcing that their feelings are both real and reasonable.
The Power of Shared Stories
Dr. Khurana suggests that parents can alleviate some of their children's anxieties by sharing their own experiences and apprehensions from when they were students. This relatable storytelling serves to normalize and validate the children's experiences.
Always There for Support
Finally, Dr. Khurana reminded parents to continually assure their children that they are there for emotional support whenever needed.
As we embark on a new school year, these insights from Dr. Khurana offer invaluable guidance for parents and guardians. Through validation and open communication, we can better equip our young ones to face the challenges and joys that a new academic year brings.