It is not surprising… The problem of fearing to go to school is one of the problems that face many families.
It happens when the child goes to school for the first time, moves from one school to another, or in some situations, it happens during the school enrollment.
Keep in mind, though,
In most cases, this kid has NO problems with perception, movement, or social intelligence before this stage…
Ever wondered if your kid has this fear?
I got you covered, Mommy..
Let me give you a quick introduction about the common fear types!
Why Is My Child Refusing To Go To School?
The answer to this question highly depends on the age of the child…
That being said,
Each age has a different character that brings to the table different challenges…
Thus, understanding the reason for fear makes the situation much easier for the parents and helps them react in the right way…
Let me talk now about these reasons:
Kids may be suffering a kind of psychological problems…
These appear in different ways, such as separation anxiety from the mother that occurs when going to school for the first time, or as an extreme shyness..
Fear of New and Older People
Your child may be afraid of interacting with the teacher or other older students…
It happened a lot, I mean a lot…
This is very common among kids who don’t really have friends before or are limited with their social life.
Well, this situation usually happens when your child is a teenager.
He may be refusing to go to school just to express his personality as a form of rebellion.
But this is not the only reason…
Misconduct or academic weakness may be the reason behind such refusal.
At this moment, you may be wondering how you would know if your child is afraid of going to school!
Worry not, I got you!
Just keep reading…
Signs that my kid is afraid of going to school:
Most of the time, the child who is suffering from these feelings does not hide his situation from his parents.
… he may be hiding the reason for his reaction, especially in the case of school bullying.
Let’s take a look at the common signs:
Your child may clearly express his refusal using words, or sometimes crying really hard
Pretending of being sick
Yes, you read that right…
He may complain about various pains, such as abdominal pain, or the feeling of an urge to vomit.
In such situations, the pain may turn into a real one because of his psychological state, fear, and anxiety.
The interesting part?
… all symptoms disappear as soon as the parents allow him not to go to school again. Imagen!
Luckily, though, there are a lot of things that can be done to easily deal with such situations..
And here are some of them.
How to deal with the child’s fear of going to school?
There really isn’t a quick fix…
There is real investigative work to be done to determine the cause.
Here, the child’s family and school have to work together to help the child get rid of this kind of fear…
It is a two-way collaboration…
Both family and school, are responsible for solving this issue
… and here is how:
The Role of The Family:
In any situation of stress, transition, or exposure to an unfamiliar situation, it is quite normal to feel worried.
This is particularly true at the start of the new school year, at the start of kindergarten, or when a child changes schools..
Keep in mind, though,
…these transition periods do not only affect the child, but they are also a source of stress for the whole family!
Your attitude as a parent is crucial..
Adaptation to the new norm
Help your kid to adapt to new procedures, schedules, and activities.
Since the child will interact with strangers (teachers and classmates), it is natural for him to face these changes with fear and anxiety.
Listen to your little one as much as possible and try to understand his words carefully.
For example, if your child brings up their concerns, listen to them sincerely and take them seriously.
Don’t ever try to minimize his fears.. This prevents him from any future communication.
On the other hand, supporting him as closely as possible will help him to feel more secure.
For example, remind the child of the fun times he spent in school.
Also, try to accustom him to a daily routine such as preparing his clothes and bag for the next day.
Here is another tip…
Link positive things that happen in his day to the idea of going to school.
With younger children, it is interesting to use role-playing games, drawings, the invention of a story, or a game that takes up the theme of anxiety with fictional characters.
This way, the child does not feel too exposed and can explore more deeply the fears of the protagonists of the story – which of course, are his own.
Envolve the school
Talk to a pre-school education professional if you notice separation anxiety in your child in general.
If he was doing well for a while and all of the sudden refused to go back to school, then contact the school immediately to know what is going on there…
Work hard with your kid and reinforce positive behaviors.
Also, teach him how to relax and control his negative emotions, like anger, fear, and anxiety.
It is not an easy thing to do, Mommy…
Actually, I’ve been there
Again… try to be calm and patient while dealing with your child..
Try not to react to him aggressively, like nervousness and hitting which increase the problem and make it difficult to be solved.
You have to contain your kid as much as possible and immerse him in your tenderness, as proper parenting starts here.
The Role of The School:
School staff must increase their support for students exposed to school rejections. They have to offer their services all year-round; at the beginning of the semester or in the transition stages.
Partial program option
Schools must give the possibility of establishing a partial program to work on the child’s attendance at school and help him to catch up with his classmates.
Healthy school environment
Schools must always provide a safe school environment that is free from violence from children in schools.
They must also educate students about the importance of respecting each other.. This starts from day 1 of joining the school.
The school must prevent any student from assaulting his colleagues… without giving any excuses!
Whether the child suffers from refusing to enroll in school at the primary level or even at the middle or high school level, attention must be given quickly to understand why the child refuses school.
In such a situation, the school and parents should collaborate to help him to accept the school, adapt to stay with his colleagues and help him overcome this difficulty.
Keep in mind, though,
The longer the rejection of the school is, the more complex the problem becomes and the more difficult it to be solved.
In some cases,
Consulting a health professional, whether a psychologist or a psychiatrist is, therefore, essential to rule out underlying psychiatric pathology.
This helps parents to understand the main cause for such behaviors.. Thus, be able to find solutions to get out of it.
…it is essential that your child goes to school despite his fears, stress, and helpless feelings.
Keeping him at home would only make the situation worse…
His anxiety would increase and return to school would become more and more difficult.
About the Author
Dema JS is the founder of newbabysmell.com and a mother of two little kids. Dema had her MBA from St. John’s University- NYC in dual concentrations: Executive Management and Marketing Management.