The first few days of a school year are always an exciting time for parents. We post the pictures of our kids taking off with new backpacks in tow or driving their cars for the first time to school.

What we often don’t see however is that not all students are excited. Some come home and lay on their beds crying.

The pressure of feeling included or having a social group is paramount. Sitting alone in the cafeteria is every child’s worst nightmare and yet, many find themselves in just that position.

We all know what it feels like to gather our gumption and walk up to a crowd that you are not very familiar with, but what if no one in that crowd even acknowledges you are there much less invites you to sit down? As an adult, we might have trouble coping with such an event, but as a teen, it can be almost too much to bear.

Depression in teens often begins when they find themselves not having any social connections or when they perceive that others are leaving them out.

So, for this start of the new school year, don’t forget those kids who feel alone and are not excited. Talk to your kids to make sure they are looking around for anyone that is siting alone and teach them to make an effort to include others.

There are many parents who feel alone in their pain regarding their child struggling to fit in and many who would take their place just to save their child some pain.

As an adult, don’t forget to have a few minutes to talk to a parent that looks concerned when their child gets on the bus. They too might be struggling to cope with how their child is feeling.

That can make a huge difference in a person’s life and mental health.

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