For some children, school is a nightmare come true. It’s beyond their capacity to deal with so many new things such as starting school, making new friends, dealing with separation from family, coping with homework, and classwork together. Thus, children suffer in the same way as adults do. As a parental instinct, we jump on the policing bandwagon to drive away the anxiety, by punishing, without listening to the child. Anxiety in children at school needs to be dealt with much more care by the parents as well as the teachers.
Signs of Anxiety in School Going Children
Many children just refuse to go to school. They completely detest the idea of going to school and break down the moment it’s brought up. This happens as the child spends significant amount of time at home with parents, which becomes his comfort zone. Just as we get overwhelmed in a new environment, the child too shows school refusal anxiety, while dealing with the idea of going to school for the first time or after vacations. To deal with this school refusal anxiety, send your child to school for just a couple of hours on the first day and increase the hours as days at school progress. Don’t push your child too much as it will make him/her hate you too.
Fear of School Phobia
To have a phobia, means to have an unrealistic level of fear about an object, situation or a place. Being young in age and experience, children do not understand the importance of going to school, meeting new people, and making new friends. It is very likely that your child may have preconceived notions about school teachers, people at school, and vaguely heard of punishments. Hence, before the child actually sees a school the fear must have already settled in. Do not quiz your child about the fear, as they generally tend to get agitated. Instead constant encouragement and highlighting positive things about school will help your child.
Reasons for Avoiding School
However, this begins to occur when children begin to understand the concept of school. Fear of playground bullies, incapacity to understand class lectures or poor academic performance are some of the underlying reasons for children to indulge in school avoidance. Your child will give you various reasons to hide the real ones and stay at home. However, if this continues, maneuver your ways with the child to find out what lies beneath.
Separation anxiety is the worst fear for the child. It is difficult for adults to deal with separation or loss, so imagine your child dealing with it for the first time. Separation anxiety is the toughest challenge, as they leave their home, a known environment to enter the unknown world. The best way of dealing with this is to be there for your child whenever possible. Listen to their fears before jumping to conclusions. Tackling this school anxiety disorder in children, will help the child to build a trustworthy relationship with you for a long time to come. The child will also depend on you always emotionally if you can be the guiding light and a supporting parent.
It takes time, patience, love, and care to deal with this kind of an anxiety. This anxiety will disappear if you give your child some time and everything else will fall into place. Within a couple of days your child will feel as comfortable at school as at home.