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As a parent, you can manage school anxiety by watching for signs that your child’s fears are beyond the normal apprehension of exposure to different surroundings. It is possible that talking with your child about her feelings can empower her to create a plan to successfully overcome school anxiety. You might also work with school officials who are familiar with the things that that increases the level of anxiety for most children at school. There are also treatments such as therapy and medication that might be necessary if regular techniques are unsuccessful.
Being apprehensive about going to school is normal for most children. Not knowing what to expect and being in unfamiliar surroundings may cause feelings of anxiety. Generally, concerns are raised when those feelings expand beyond normal levels of uneasiness and grow to where your child wants to completely avoid going to school. Having a plan for a smooth transition might help your child confront his fears without feeling guilty.
Awareness of some of the signs of school anxiety that a child might manifest, indicating that the fear is beyond normal anxious feelings of a new or uncertain experience, could help you manage school anxiety. Your child may become extremely distressed when it is time for school. For some children, signs such as having a panic attack are more obvious when it is time to go to school, and may disappear as soon as the perceived threat is removed. This type of school phobia may also materialize in negative behavior characterized as acting out in school.
Talking about the reasons your child has school anxiety might help to relieve some of her fears. Open conversations give your child a safe haven to voice her fears without feeling bad about those feelings. By exposing the fear, you can also provide coping mechanisms to overcome school anxiety.
Another option is to use counter-avoidance tactics to gingerly help your child alleviate fears about school. You might highlight the positive characteristics about school. Also, you could discuss her favorite subject and reinforce the learning opportunities available at school to learn more.
Another approach is to meet with your child’s teacher, guidance counselor, school nurse, or any other school official who might be aware of the anxiety your child has about school. When your child sees that she has a support system in dealing with her angst, she might have an improved chance of overcoming the fear. This is especially important if your child is a victim of bullying at school. Getting ahead of the situation may help to prevent things from escalating out of control.
You might have to consider professional counseling if the anxiety increases or does not improve with other techniques. The reasons for school anxiety could be the result of other anxiety disorders that may require psychiatric therapy or medications. Simply medicating the anxiety disorder without continued support from educators and family could delay the chances for improvement, however, as it may not directly address your child's real concerns.