Kids Help Phone professional counsellors are available for media interviews about back to school

TORONTO, Aug. 9, 2011 /CNW/ - Throughout the summer, Kids Help Phone counsellors often hear from kids who have imagined scenarios about what the next school year will be like.

Young students who are transitioning into middle or high school sometimes fear being targeted by bullies or cyberbullies, or that their new school will be violent. They also sometimes fear that their peers will pressure them to do drugs. Often, these worries are based on things kids have heard in the media, or from older siblings who are trying to scare them.

While some kids have big fears about going back to school, others have big hopes.

To a kid who's been bullied, moving on to a new school might mean that old problems will disappear. To another kid, a new grade or a fresh wardrobe might mean increased popularity.

But after the first few weeks of school pass, kids whose high expectations haven't materialized start to crash as a new reality sets in.

Helping kids prepare for going back to school is about helping them to build realistic expectations.

What our experts are saying

"A kid's biggest hope or worst fear probably won't come true," says Alain Johnson, Clinical Director, French Language Services at Kids Help Phone. "What is their Plan B? How do they grasp reality? On what grounds are these fears based?"

Evidence tells us that well-being is becoming more elusive, in large part because of unrealistic or outdated expectations and pervasive uncertainty about the future. The pressure to perform, to succeed against all odds, to make the right choices, to save face or to prove their worth in the eyes of others are common reasons kids and teens reach out to us.

Tips for parents

Johnson says parents should first ask the question, "is back to school a problem for my kid or not?"

Johnson and other Kids Help Phone professionals are available to talk about what parents can watch for if their kids are worried about going back to school, and how to help build realistic expectations for the start of the school year. 

Part of the work of becoming an adult is learning to set realistic goals, and to adapt unrealistic goals in order to make them achievable.

About Kids Help Phone

Kids Help Phone is Canada's leading youth counselling service, moving kids from distress and isolation to confidence and competence. Available anytime of the day or night, in English and French, by phone and by web, it is the go-to resource for kids in Canada from five to 20 when they need help or trustworthy information on issues that are difficult to discuss with anyone else. Providing a service that is free, anonymous and confidential, Kids Help Phone is a respected charity, vitally dependent on individual donations and corporate support to remain available to kids looking for help; sometimes looking for a lifeline.

SOURCE: Kids Help Phone

For further information:

To set up an interview about back to school 

Please contact 
416-581-8955


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