How Parents Can Handle Back-to-School Anxiety in Their Kids

Available for Interviews: Dr. Pete Loper

Dr. Pete Loper, MD, MSEd, FAAP, is a triple board-certified physician in pediatrics, psychiatry, and child psychiatry. He is also a professor and executive coach and is dedicated to mental health and wellness advocacy.

What Dr. Loper could say on
Back-to-School Anxiety:

    • Not all anxiety is bad. It can be beneficial in supporting healthy adaptations for kids. It is typical and expected in times of change, but alternatively, some behaviors can be more concerning.
    • There has been an increase in the number of patients needing mental health services since the pandemic. We have seen an uptick in the Adolescents age group.

    • Watch for signs your child may be experiencing anxiety: not getting up for school, not engaging in typical routines, somatic complaints: headache, belly ache as cause for not going to school.
    • Strategy: make sure they have someone to turn to in time of need: a friend, roommate, school counselor, teacher, or an administrator.


    • It is critical for parents to keep an eye on their children’s behaviors.
    • Key: support kids with new experiences.
    • Encourage families to be present with each other and have “sacred time” at home.
    • Be intentional about putting aside screens and engaging with one another. Have a “screen basket” where everyone puts their devices away.
    • Board games and mealtime are helpful in promoting interaction among families.
    • Red Flags: Social withdrawal with family, friendships, etc.
    • Seek immediate support and resources: Start with your primary care physician, who can direct and recommend the best course of action needed.
    • Stay engaged and consistently check in with your child to keep lines of communication open.


Interview: Dr. Pete Loper

Dr. Pete Loper began his undergraduate studies in English at Kenyon College prior to completing his premedical coursework and Bachelor of Arts at the University of South Carolina (U of SC).  He earned his Doctor of Medicine from the University of South Carolina School of Medicine, and his Master of Science in Education from the University of Pennsylvania.  Following medical school, Dr. Loper completed a residency in pediatrics. He then worked as a pediatrician in a private practice setting while completing a second residency in psychiatry and a fellowship in child and adolescent psychiatry.  He has also completed the American Psychoanalytic Association’s Psychoanalytic Fellowship Program and the Teleos Leadership Institute’s Coach Development Program.

Dr. Loper has been featured in numerous academic publications and media outlets and it is through these channels that he can dedicate his time to being an advocate for mental health and wellness.

Jo Allison
Managing Editor
Director of Public Relations
Success In Media, Inc.

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