Fear of School in Children | Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment
Parents face a lot of duty, especially when it comes to their first child. As the child grows older, you are concerned not just about the child’s bodily well-being, such as his diet, but also about his mental well-being. Parents must establish a balance between pampering and disciplining their children, as any of these can be detrimental to the child’s mental development.
The first challenge that parents confront in this situation usually occurs after their child has started school. Your youngster will almost certainly refuse to attend school at some point. This is known as school refusal, and it is a pretty typical occurrence. Dealing with such difficulties is difficult, but not impossible. Parents should investigate the various causes of their child’s behaviour so that the child feels more at ease at school. This essay will explain the various facets of school phobia (Fear of School). This essay will teach you how to deal with it as a parent and how to help your children manage it.
What Happens When Kids Stop Going To School?
School Refusal Syndrome occurs when a youngster refuses to attend school for whatever reason. Because of fear or another reason, the youngster does not want to go to school or refuses to go to school. He could also be suffering from school avoidance disorder, which manifests itself physically in the form of being unwell or lethargic in the morning. Because of his anxiousness, the child prefers to stay at home and do other tasks rather than attend school.
The Causes of Children’s School Phobia
There are a variety of reasons why a child may have a fear of school, and it is critical to comprehend the situation from the child’s perspective. The following are some of the most common causes of school reflux syndrome:
Worry about Being Judged
The school is a location where every child’s potential is measured and exhibited, and it is a place where continual evaluation takes place. If a youngster refuses to attend school on a certain day, such as a sports day or an important public speaking event, he may be apprehensive about performing under pressure and so wish to avoid it.
Anxiety Must Be Kept At Bay
Separation anxiety affects not just babies, but even older children. When a child is raised by a loving parent, the transition to a less loving setting might be difficult for the child.
Issues in Education
Learning challenges or academic problems are frequent in children, and the pressure that comes with them can make the child want to avoid coming to school.
Interaction Issues with Other Children
A child’s school is a place where he or she interacts with a large number of people, including other children his or her age. Children are prone to social isolation, bullying, and fighting. The child wishes to avoid going to school in such a situation.
Disparities between Teachers
If a child does not appreciate a teacher’s demeanour, he will refuse to attend school.
Children desire to delay attending to school because of disturbing incidences such as parting from a parent, demise of a family fellow, or split-up.
Change of Address
Moving to a new school or location can be tough for a child to adjust to, and he or she may prefer to stay at home rather than return to school.
A Comfortable Home Environment
Staying at home allows the child to spend time with his or her parents or engage in enjoyable activities such as watching television. In this case, the child could opt to stay at home rather than go to school.
School Phobia Symptoms
School phobia is a condition that is easily identifiable. Parents, in particular, are acutely aware of this. Certain signs, such as outright refusal, indicate that the youngster does not want to go to school. Here showcased some of the most usual signs and indicators:
- In the name of going to school, the youngster sobs and screams, pleading with his or her parents to let him or her stay at home.
- Further usual indications comprise being afraid at school, walking gradually, or running absent from school.
- Another common symptom is great difficulty returning to school after a long absence, such as holidays, vacations, or sports days, using fake explanations such as stomach trouble, headache, or dizziness.
- The youngster refuses to attend to school and spends his or her time elsewhere, and is missing from school for no apparent reason.
- The youngster may occasionally miss class or be absent for extended periods of time without giving any reason.
- The youngster may frequently visit the sick bay at school to avoid being in the spotlight, which is another symptom of school refusal syndrome in children.
Also Read: The Best Way to Teach Youngsters to Read
As A Result Of School Refusal
Schools play a vital part in a child’s growth. Going to school not only provides children with the opportunity to learn about the world, but it also helps them develop their personalities. From the start, schools place the child in an unusual setting and prepare them for the real world and adult life. If a youngster does not attend school, he or she may fall behind in terms of mental and emotional development, making it difficult for them to survive without their parents.
Identification Tests for School Refugees
Here are some resources to help you determine if your child is experiencing school withdrawal:
The Checklist for Children’s Behavior (CBCL)
The CBCL is a questionnaire designed to help parents and carers identify practical and emotional issues in their children.
The Test That Is Scored
Screen for Child Anxiety Related Emotional Disorder is the name of the Scored Test. It’s a tool that helps kids comprehend anxiety disorders like generalised anxiety disorder, separation anxiety disorder, panic disorder, and social phobia.
The Manifest Anxiety Scale for Children
It’s used to assess the severity and character of a child’s anxiety.
The Global Rating Scale for Children (CGAS)
This is a scale that assesses a child’s or adolescent’s level of functioning.
Treatment for School Phobia (Fear of School)
Psychological therapies, counselling, and sensitivity techniques are commonly used in treatment.
Cognitive Behavioral therapy (CBT)
It’s a form of behaviour therapy that’s used to correct children’s inappropriate and bad behaviour.
Desensitization in a Systematic Manner
The child is trained to gradually improve his school reaction and is encouraged to be less emotionally harsh on himself.
To strengthen the immunological response to the circumstance, the child is gradually exposed to the stressful environment and guided to deal with the changes.
Put Behavioral Techniques into Action
The child is rewarded for good behaviour, which increases the frequency of good behaviour.
Other Therapies and Medications
Other therapies and medications are available for children who are afraid of going to school.
Serotonin for instance Prozac, can aid kids with downheartedness, but they must be used with carefulness since they can lead to drug addiction and exaggerate depression. Bipolar disorder and suicide ideation can both be exacerbated by such reliance. Stopping the drug abruptly can produce problems in the youngster, such as anxiety, insomnia, and headaches.
Certain drugs that aid with anxiety symptoms in children, such as hand perspiration and a high heart rate, are also beneficial. Propranolol, on the other hand, should be taken with caution and never on asthma patients. These medicines should not be abruptly stopped because they can cause an increase in blood pressure.
Is It Important To Follow Up After Treatment?
If the child has been treated for or is being treated for school withdrawal syndrome, it is critical to follow up after treatment. Following treatment, the child must be regularly followed by his or her family, teachers, and the treating professional.
What should the school do to help the youngster overcome his or her anxiety of going to school?
Here are some ideas for how schools might deal with children’s inattention in school.
What Can Be Done At The Policy Level To Address School Fear?
- Create a pleasant climate in the classroom with a strong sense of community among the teachers and students.
- Creating peer support and mentoring initiatives to help youngsters feel included.
- Emphasize the value of regular school attendance to the child.
- Keeping a close eye on the child’s attendance so that any issues can be identified early.
How to Deal With Fear of School On a Personal Level
- Determine why the child is not in school and work with the family to gather information and reasons.
- Keep in touch with the family, even if the youngster continues to skip school.
- Recognize that sending your child to school comes with its own set of difficulties.
- Give encouraging feedback to youngsters who are attempting to increase their attendance and acknowledge it.
What Can Parents Do To Help Their Children?
Parents of a child with a fear of school should examine the following options:
While Speaking With the Child
- Discuss the steps you may take to ensure the child’s comfort in school with the child.
- Speak positively and demonstrate to your child that you feel he can overcome his academic challenges and gain confidence.
- ‘When you speak, be calm and clear, and say ‘when you go to school…’ rather than ‘if you go to school…’
- Using a direct statement, don’t offer the child the opportunity to reply “no.”
- Maintain a calm demeanour and never display desperation in the face of the circumstances;
- Establish a morning and evening school routine, such as folding the next day’s uniform, packing a bag, and so on.
- Make the house ‘boring’ during the school day so the child doesn’t want to be at home.
- Maintain the baby’s sleeping pattern.
During the School Day
- Have someone else drop the child off at school since being separated from the child at home is preferable to being separated at the school gate.
- When your child goes to school, instead of being harsh with him, tell him that you are proud of him.
- At the conclusion of the day, reward the child for attending school.
Collaboration with the School
- Seek advice from the teachers or the principal regarding this circumstance. Learn about a reputable counsellor or psychotherapist.
- Schedule regular meetings with the school’s main point of contact, such as the class teacher, principal, or any other support staff.
Controlling or Avoiding School Refuge
- Pay attention to what the child has to say about the cause for his or her behaviour, so you can figure out whether there is a bully or peer pressure at work.
- Getting a youngster to go to school frequently and on time so that it becomes a habit is another crucial component in dealing with a child’s desire to go to school.
- Instill confidence in the child and convince him that he is capable of solving the problem.
- Assure the child that the parent or caregiver will be home when he or she returns from school, and remind them of how boring their home environment was when they were at school.
Forecast For Fear of School
It’s nothing new for a preschooler to refuse to go to school. With a little care and guidance from parents and teachers, this habit typically improves. However, if the disease persists for a long time or worsens, it can still be detected with the help of professional treatment.
For a child, going to school can be a challenging experience. So, refusing to attend school is nothing new. This is a very common occurrence among children. While simple modifications in attitude and lifestyle can help, if the school refusal behaviour intensifies over time, you may require expert help.