School Challenges: How Parents Can Help

Dec 12, 2011

When school beckons after the lazy days of summer, how can parents help their children adjust to the change in a healthy way? WALA-TV-FOX10 in Mobile, Ala., sought the advice of Tabitha Olzinski, a licensed clinical social worker who specializes in child development.

Tabitha Olzinski

Olzinski noted the difficulties parents face in gauging how their children deal with school issues. “We don’t get to see their social interaction or how they’re doing following directions or even getting their work done,” she was quoted saying.

If children are having difficulties, it can surface in different ways. The key is to take notice. “For a teenager, you’re probably going to see a lot of withdrawal from them,” the news station quoted Olzinski as saying. “They might just come home and go in their room and shut the door and not want to communicate with anybody . . .”

She suggested parents be aware of changes of their child’s normal habits. Such changes can be possible signs that something is not right.

Olzinski suggested parents talk to their children about what is going on with them. “You could also talk with the teacher to see if anything has changed at school,” she was quoted as saying. “Ask about bullying, which is a big problem for a lot of kids, and it can be really hard to talk about.”

There are also methods to detect if something is wrong with smaller children, Olzinski said. “Watch out for crying, lack of appetite or if your child has a hard time sleeping,” she told the news station. “Remember, for little ones it can take a bit longer to adjust to a new environment and a new routine.”