When a new school year rolls around, it’s normal for most kids to feel a little anxious. They’re unsure of their new classes, teachers, and peers. Plus, if they’re entering a new grade level, additional stress comes along there.
But if your child is extremely reluctant to attend or showing intense signs of anxiety, the root cause could go beyond common nerves. Instead, what they could be experiencing is something called school anxiety.
To learn more about this condition, continue reading. From causes to various anxiety tips for coping, we’ll share what you need to know.
1. School Anxiety is a Real Thing
So, what is school anxiety? It’s a legitimate form of panic surrounding the classroom that some kids experience. You might think feeling severely nervous over school is silly; but, the sooner you accept that it’s a real condition, the sooner you can help your child feel better.
If you think your kiddo has school anxiety, validate how they feel rather than making them insecure about these scary feelings. Acknowledge that you understand them so you can start working on building their confidence back up.
2. It Can Start Young With Daycare
By now, you might be wondering what causes school anxiety. For each child, it can be something different. However, you should know that it doesn’t only begin with school-aged kids.
It can start as early as 4 to 5 months as separation anxiety! If you had to leave your little one at daycare from a young age, that could become school anxiety later in life. The thought of being around strangers instead of familiar family members can be terrifying.
For older kids, the panic surrounding school can stem from things like:
- Embarrassment due to learning disabilities
- Generalized Anxiety Disorder or social anxiety
- Bullying from peers
- Troubles with friends or teachers
3. There Are Signs to Recognize
Most of your child’s anxious feelings are internal. However, you can still watch out for some external signs and symptoms. Familiarize yourself with them so you can know whether they’re present in your kiddo.
Preschool-aged children might throw tantrums, complain about tummy aches, or ask you to stay with them. In older kids, physical symptoms like nausea, headaches, and difficulty sleeping are common. They may also cry or flat-out refuse to go to school.
4. You Can Help Them Handle It
When you start to notice red flags, you might wonder what to do if your child has anxiety about school. Luckily, there are indeed ways to help them!
First, you can talk through their feelings and worries with them. Figure out if something deeper is causing the panic and how you can deal with it healthily if so. If you’re especially concerned, you might look into professional mental health services.
Another option to consider is virtual or homeschool. The benefits of homeschooling are impressive, and it can help your child feel comfortable while learning.
Face School Anxiety Head On
Is your child nervous or resistant about going back to school this year? It could be school anxiety. Help them face it head on by validating them, finding a root cause, and achieving a solution that works for the whole family.
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