Starting high school worries and anxiety

Starting high school can be very daunting for many children; they are entering their teenage years, which is quite a significant change. Their friends may be enrolling in a different high school, so they lose part of their social support for this big transition.

For most, the new school year anxiety will fade, but there are a few things to remember as a parent to be mindful and supportive of your child as they make this shift.

1) Try to plan ahead.

You will probably start to feel the pressure of having to re-introduce the school routine after the summer break. The best way to avoid this is to prepare and communicate with your child about your expectations and listen to them.

2) Listen seriously if your child expresses any worries.

Try not to dismiss your child’s fear of starting or going back to school. By listening and acknowledging your child’s anxieties for the new school year, you are helping them feel more secure. You can also help your child manage these worries, which will help nurture the confidence to face them.

3) Avoid putting pressure on your child to talk about the new school year.

Most children will be more vocal in a casual conversation, for example, in the car. It may take time for your child to process the changes before they speak to you about them. Sometimes, curiously wondering with them about how things are can be helpful, rather than asking direct questions – for example, “I’m interested how your day went?” or “I wonder what your favourite part of today was?”.

4) Monitor your child’s stress.

High volumes of stress over a long period can lead to mental health difficulties such as anxiety and depression. If your child isn’t showing a reduction in their worries and stress levels, this may be a sign they need some further help.

Here at The Retreat Clinics, we can offer a flexible approach to support children and young people starting high school who may be experiencing worry, stress, anxiety, or low mood.

We understand it can be scary, and can provide bespoke support for children and young people who may have experienced a range of difficulties, including:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression or low mood
  • Traumatic experiences
  • Relationship difficulties
  • Bereavement
  • Issues with confidence and self-esteem
  • Stress
  • Panic attacks
  • Sleeping difficulties

We also offer parent consultations, where you can talk to a trained professional about your child or your experiences of parenting your child.

All of our therapies are available at our clinics in York, Manchester and online.

If you would like to find out more please get in touch by using the form below, or emailing or