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Back to school season has hit and everywhere you turn, there are ads with images of excited children and teens. Smiling, confident and happy – seemingly ready to tackle yet another year without a care in the world.

In reality, back-to-school anxiety and fear faces many students right now, especially teens. The pressure to fit in is on steroids due to social media and cyberbullying. Forget who sits next to you at lunch or asks you to go the football game on Friday night. This is not junior high or high school how we remember it and believing it is does a disservice to our children. Popularity contests are now measured by the number of likes and views they get on Instagram or their Snapchat story. Yes, that’s really a thing and that thing keeps your child up at night; either because they are “supes pops” or because they are not…

According to data collected by the National Survey of Children’s Health, researchers found a 20 percent increase in diagnosis of anxiety between 2007 and 2012. Add five more years of social media, school lockdowns and the rise of other developmental issues to these research numbers and social anxiety is not only understandable but expected.

Zier Institute created programs, like COMPASS, to support teens and their families through difficult times like back-to-school. Rather than starting this year off with a panic attack, call us to find the right solution for your child. We help alleviate the symptoms of anxiety and help replace fear with joy. Parents are part of the process also so the entire family has the tools to excel.