Behavioral Health’s Role in School Success


LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – With kids well into their first couple weeks of school, doctors at Baptist Health are taking a look at behavioral health and what families can do to ensure their children have a successful school year.

There are certain things that doctors recommend you do from the get-go, like attending an open house at your child’s school.

It’s a chance for parents to meet their child’s teacher, get a syllabus and ask questions.

“We can share some things with the teachers like our kids’ learning habits and what motivates them, but then let the teachers do their job,” suggests Bob Burchfield with Baptist Health.

Burchfield is highlighting the importance of parent- teacher communication, which helps keep your child’s education goals in the forefront.

“There’s a fine line between being an invested parent and being an invasive one,” he adds.

Burchfield suggests meeting educators halfway because he says they’re just as fully invested as you are when it comes to your child’s learning.

“If you go to a parent-teacher conference and you hear some things, keep an open mind. You know our kids aren’t always perfect,” he cautions.

When you keep an open mind, you can work to find out what’s really going on and what you can do at home to help your child excel in the classroom.

“Things like maybe some restlessness, some aggitation. Maybe some disrupted sleep patterns, disrupted eating patterns,” Burchfield adds.

They are common problems you can work out with your child and he says most can make the adjustment.

“If you see these warning signs, things like paranoia or just an abject refusal to go back to school,” Burchfield continues. Don’t ignore it, he says. The transitional phase can release different stressors, after summer break, which can be fixed with communication and getting involved in your child’s education from the very beginning.

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