NBC news features psychology professor

Even the teachers say they can get stressed out, because it can be hard knowing what to expect.

“You would think that every year it would get easier, but I’m still probably just as nervous as the first year,” kindergarten teacher Valeria Casanova said.

FIU psychology professor Dr. Jeremy Pettit, who studies child anxiety, can back up that claim.

“There’s just a lot of things that need to get done in a short period of time and it creates an atmosphere of heightened stress and tension in the home," he said.

Pettit says the fear of the unknown usually goes away within the first few weeks of school, so parents need to be strong if their child is begging to stay home.

“It will reduce the stress at that moment in time but it’s not an effective long-term solution," he said. "It’s going to lead to high levels of school absences and is actually going to make the anxiety and fear worse.”

Pettit also says parents should show empathy with their children when they seem anxious about going to school, but not to give in to vague complaints about headaches or stomach aches or even throwing up because that happens all the time.

Above all, Pettit says, let them go! Because if parents don't separate from their children, it just prolongs the agony for them.

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