For kids, nothing beats summer’s bright and balmy months for rest, rejuvenation, and fun. But the season is always fleeting – and back-to-school concerns may soon present themselves, especially for adolescents transitioning to new schools.
According to CentraState child and adolescent psychiatrist Ankur Desai, MD, the transitions from elementary school to middle school and from middle school to high school are significant. In addition to the adjustment from summer to school, these adolescents must adapt to a change in their physical environment, more responsibilities, and a new social landscape.
“Middle school may be the first time pre-teens are rotating classes and teachers, using lockers, and managing their schedules, which requires more executive functioning,” explains Dr. Desai. “Starting high school is another huge transition that runs parallel to the developmental task of establishing a sense of personal identity.”
He notes that school transitions can be more difficult in the wake of the pandemic, which set many students back academically, socially, and emotionally. In addition, overexposure to social media can leave teens feeling more vulnerable and isolated.
Dr. Desai offers these tips to help your adolescent feel more confident when starting the school year.