CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) - Are your kids starting to get the back-to-school jitters?

Emily Mudd, PhD, pediatric psychologist for Cleveland Clinic Children’s said feeling some anxiety ahead of the new school year is common. 

“Back-to-school anxiety is totally normal. A lot of children experience it, and they may verbalize feeling this way,” explained Dr. Mudd. “Your child may be experiencing anxiety if they’re having trouble sleeping, becoming more socially isolated or avoiding getting back into a routine altogether.”

To ease anxiety ahead of the school year, Dr. Mudd encourages parents to first help their children figure out what’s making them anxious and validate their feelings. 

She said dismissing their worries or fears can actually make things worse. 

If your child is anxious, Dr. Mudd suggests taking them to their school a few weeks before class starts so they can get used to the environment – especially if they’re going somewhere new.

It’s also helpful to ease them back into their typical routine of waking up and going to bed at a certain time. 

Dr. Mudd said it’s crucial for parents to work with their children and avoid letting them stay home because they’re anxious.

“When a child has anxiety, one of the worst things we can do is to help them avoid the situation,” Dr. Mudd said. “If we have our children stay home because they’re feeling nervous about school, their anxiety will increase. It’s a really challenging cycle to break. It's more important to arm your children with the skills they need to manage their anxiety and not let them stay home.”

If your child continues to struggle with anxiety, Dr. Mudd said it may be time to seek further help from a mental health professional.