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Afraid of going to school - what to do?

Everyone knows it: the tingling in the stomach when the next math work or the vocabulary check is due. This feeling is completely normal. Even more: it is even useful to us. Because excitement promotes concentration. But sometimes these uncomfortable feelings expand into a disorder that can seriously affect the children's everyday lives.

"I don't want to go to school!" - Sometimes the fear of going to school is obvious, sometimes it is hidden. We have compiled the most important information and tips on school anxiety for you.

In this article you will find:Show

How does fear of school arise?

The fear of going to school is almost always caused by negative experiences that children have had in school. mobbing (or cyber bullying), problems with teachers, bad grades, school stress and Pressure to perform or also a Change of school or school enrollment can cause such fears. In such situations, some students feel overwhelmed and powerless. Then it is time to intervene quickly before the negative feelings can solidify. Especially at the beginning of the 5th grade, it is worthwhile to carefully observe the behavior of your children. Because this is the time when the fear of going to school occurs most often.

What does 5th grade have to do with school anxiety?

Many children look forward to secondary school. They then really belong to the “big ones” (even if they are once the “little ones” again). But this change often leads to sudden fear of school. How are these two events related?

Many parents complain that their children are not adequately prepared for secondary schools in primary school. Because when changing schools there are many changes for the children, which are not always easy to work with:
  • The pupils enter a new environment with mostly strangers: new school building, new teachers, new class structure.
  • The school days are getting longer.
  • New subjects are introduced.
  • The pace of instruction and the level of performance increase.

This change can be very surprising and exhausting at first. Stress builds up and ultimately manifests itself in a fear of going to school, which in turn manifests itself in a range of different symptoms.

How do parents recognize school anxiety?

The fear of school can manifest itself in both Character changes as well as in physical complaints. Deviating from normal behavior is always a good indicator of negative associations with school.
  • If your child has always enjoyed going to class, for example, but has recently been dawdling every morning and hesitating to leave for school, or begging to be allowed to stay at home, it pays to pay attention straight away.
  • Sometimes fear of school manifests itself in sudden appearances Nausea, headache, or stomach ache. Make a note of when these symptoms occur. If they don't appear on the weekend or during the holidays, the school is most likely involved.
  • Has your child not been getting enough sleep for some time or has a previously unknown and inexplicable problem aggressiveness on, these can also be indications of fear of school.

Signs of school anxiety at a glance:

Physical signs

Emotional signs

  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Loss of appetite up to an eating disorder
  • Listlessness up to depression
  • Tiredness and exhaustion

What can parents do if they are afraid of school?

If their child is suffering, parents understandably want to help as soon as possible. However, if the cause of a problem lies outside of the immediate access area, as is the case with schools, it becomes a little more difficult. We have a Set of tips collected that should help you as a parent to relieve your child's fear of school:

  • Make your child feel loved regardless of school or grades. When your child can feel that they can trust you and that your home is a safe haven, your child can relax better.
  • Emphasize your child's strengths. Then your child can concentrate on it and go to school with a strengthened back. This helps with difficult subjects as well as with stupid sayings from classmates.
  • Talk to your child about everyday school life. Use sentences like, "How do you feel at school? How do you like it there?" Try to understand the fear of school; children who suffer from school anxiety now need nothing more urgent than parents to tell about their worries and who will take them seriously.
  • But don't make school the main topic at home either. School is important, yes. But life and your child is so much more than school. The more often a topic is talked about, the more serious it is. Especially if your child does not have the best feelings about school at the moment, it should get rid of this uncomfortable feeling at home can and do not still have to think about it.
  • Be a good example. Perhaps you have experienced a corresponding situation and can tell about it - and above all also how the whole thing has developed (for the better, of course) and what you yourself have done about your fear of going to school. This will keep you at eye level with your child and show understanding.
  • Don't dramatize the situation and don't use sentences like, "How awful that must be!" This increases the fear of going to school and the feeling of being stuck in a hopeless situation.
  • Take your child in your arms. Sometimes that helps more than any sentence and shows your child that you are there and that you care.
  • Fantasy stories with characters in a similar situation can tell your child e.g. B. also motivate to face one's fears in reality.
  • Try to keep in touch with friends from elementary school. You are in the same situation as your offspring and may have had nice events in your school that you can tell about - that motivates and cheers you up.
  • Exercise in combination with a healthy diet ensures that your child works out and feels fit all round - so they can sleep better, feel more comfortable and stronger. The target area for fears is reduced.
  • Support your child's hobbies. Having fun in his spare time relieves tension after school.
  • If it is due to a certain subject: Introduce a few of the new subjects to your child in a playful way and explain what they could use the many, sometimes difficult contents for later. That motivates! If they are well armed, they are less afraid to fail. For example, scoyo packs the school material into exciting online learning stories and conveys the material in a playful way, using examples that are relevant to everyday life

Discover new school material in a playful way with scoyo:

  • If your child feels overwhelmed by the subject matter, they may Private tutoring be a solution. You can find a free guide to help you choose the right offer for your protégé here.
  • If there are problems with teachers, discuss with your child whether a six-eye conversation could help to clear up any misunderstandings.
  • If your child is being bullied at school, you should urgently discuss it with those involved and build your child's self-confidence. You can find help with bullying here.
  • If you feel that your fear of school is not going away, Therapy can also help. Here the children get to know their fear: where does it come from? How does it express itself? How do I endure it and how does it become less until it disappears completely in the end?

We hope that your child will be able to go to school (soon again) carefree and without fear and wish you lots of strength and positive energy.