Children not wanting to go to school is a common phenomenon. This is because they find it difficult to handle the separation anxiety and easily get upset or clingy at the mere thought of leaving their parents for few hours every day. They become uncomfortable in situations where they don’t find their parents around. This anxiety usually goes away if you continue to support them with comfort measures and keep developing a sense of independence.
Unfortunately, in some cases, the fear or anxiety gets lingered on and emerges as a more serious concern. Some children continue to have a long-term fear of attending school, which even affects them physically as well as emotionally and eventually transforms into school phobia. But before you characterize this behavior as school phobia, here are few signs that you should watch out for:
- Children experiencing school phobia demonstrate physical symptoms just before leaving for the school such as stomach ailments, vomiting, diarrhea, or extreme fatigue
- They throw tantrums and become anxious when away from their parents
- They continue to express fears of being alone
- Find difficulty in sleeping and complain of recurrent nightmares
- All of these symptoms just appear during school days and disappear on weekends or school holidays
Guidelines to help your child overcome the fear of attending school
At Khaitan Public School- the top CBSE school in Ghaziabad, our counselors have formulated some guidelines to help you overcome this fear in your child:
- Talk to your child
Talking helps! Just sit with your child and try to figure out why they do not want to attend school. Be supportive, sympathetic, and listen with the intention to know the real cause.
Start with acknowledging the fact that you understand the concerns of your child. Do insist that they must immediately return to the school. This is because the longer they stay at home, the more difficult it would be for them to return to normal school life. Mention to your child that he is in good health and the symptoms that he or she experiences is due to other reasons or fears such as grades, homework, or probably bullying at school. Clearly indicate that as per the law, the child needs to attend school regularly so there is no escape.
- Be committed and firm
Remain extra firm on days the child needs to attend school. Don’t encourage and listen to physical symptoms or anxieties. Avoid asking whether they are feeling good and okay about attending the school.
- Seek help from School Authorities
Discuss the problem with the school staff and seek their assistance when your child is at school. Request them to pay attention to your child in case they become symptomatic and encourage them to return to the classroom as soon as they feel better. Your child may need help with a school bully. Allow the child to express themselves and discuss the issue with the school staff immediately.
Be compassionate and understanding but at the same, you need to be firm and resilient. The child needs to be independent and this can be done when you encourage them to participate in household activities such as clubs, sports activities, and handling chores at the house.