Parent Asks:
Lately, my eight-year-old has complained of mysterious stomachaches, but only on school mornings. She doesn't have other symptoms and seems fine when she returns from school later in the day. Is there something I should do to help her with this problem?

Educator Answers:
First check your child's normal body habits, and confirm that everything is regular. Explore possible physical or illness related causes with your child's doctor and if there is no medical cause identified, you may find that your eight-year-old is experiencing an emotional concern that leads to an upset stomach or queasiness. Talk with both your child and your child's teacher.

In natural conversation with your child, ask about changes with her friends, differences in her school schedule, problems at school, with a teacher, a disappointment, or concerns about tests, work at school, or getting homework completed.

Reassure your daughter that you are concerned about her and want to help. Review her schedule together and make sure there is a kid-friendly and realistic balance between work, play, and your joint expectations for her. Urge the teacher to stay in touch with you about your child's ailment during the school day and work together to try to identify what "trigger" points, times of the day, or experiences seem to be associated with the condition.