Child counselors encourage parents to watch for signs of back-to - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Child counselors encourage parents to watch for signs of back-to-school anxiety

The Hottes family has four kids. Scott and Leah Hottes say they encourage their children to be themselves. The Hottes family has four kids. Scott and Leah Hottes say they encourage their children to be themselves.
CAPE GIRARDEAU COUNTY, MO (KFVS) -

New clothes, school supplies, and backpacks are all things parents are buying for their kids as they head back to school. However, child counselors remind parents that some things children need as they head back into the classroom are not material items.

“A lot of kids come in this time of year with anxieties related to school, starting school,” Stephanie Anderson, Assistant Director at Tender Hearts Child Therapy Center, said. “The teenagers that we see tend to have social anxiety. ‘Am I going to fit in?’ ‘Are my friends going to like me?’ ‘Who am I going to be friends with?’ It’s especially that transition from elementary to middle school, middle school to high school, when things change. So, you see a lot of kids who have anxiety related to social situations.”

Child counselors say parents can help their child with their anxiety by reminding them about all the things they’re good at and about the kind of person they are.

“It’s very important to some kids to be popular,” Anderson said. “It’s important for parents to just encourage the child. You have to get our self worth out of who you are, being a nice person, being a kind person and people will want to be friends with you, instead of ‘how many friends do you have?’”

The Hottes family has four kids. Scott and Leah Hottes say they encourage their children to be themselves.

“It’s very important that you are still the person that you are at home that you take to school instead of trying to be something different,” Leah Hottes said.

Scott Hottes says he tells his kids to focus on the things that matter most at school.

“Your grades are the most important thing. It doesn’t matter if you have the $100 pair of jeans and the $150 pair of shoes,” Scott Hottes said. “If somebody starts disrespecting you because of that, it’s irrelevant because in those four years, that short time, you are going to develop your own personality, what’s important, what’s right, your morals. That’s what’s going to lead you into college and the rest of your life.”

Dylan Hottes is 14 years old and starts the 9th grade on Thursday. His parents say he’s already a great example to his younger siblings and his classmates.

“I’ve tried to hang out with the cool kids and be in that crowd and it’s not really much fun after you try to do it because you’re not really being who you are,” Dylan Hottes said.

Anderson says parents should be aware of changes in their child’s behavior. Signs of anxiety include significant changes in sleeping habits. For resources on child anxiety issues, click here.

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