Back To School Anxiety

bildeAs the school year approaches, some children develop anxiety about going to school. Symptoms of school anxiety can be headaches, stomach ache, sore throat, nausea, diarrhea, dizziness, tiredness and fainting. The symptoms get somewhat better when the child is home and increase as the next school day comes.

One cause of school anxiety can be performance anxiety. This is when the child or family holds the child to extremely high standards. The consequences for not living up to expectations can be real or imagined and are perceived as severe by the child.

Family trauma also is a potential cause of school anxiety.  The child may feel the need to say home in order to help Mommy or to keep Daddy from leaving.

Bullying at school can produce symptoms of school anxiety.Children sometimes are too frightened to tell adults what is happening.They also may be frightened of being labelled as a “snitch” by the non-bullying children.

Parental anxiety can also be transferred to the child. When parents express that they are fearful of being separated from the child, the child will also become fearful and anxious.

Overcoming school anxiety can be difficult. Relaxation techniques such as deep breathing and a calm approach to the child can be helpful.  Getting the child back to school quickly is important. A psychologist should be consulted if hysteria, out of control tantrums, or being unable to physically get the child into the school building occur.