First published: 24 June 2022 @ 6:00 pm
When you are a parent, you worry about your child’s school. Whether it is about their future or if they will be safe. But there are many other things that you may worry about as well. School anxiety can also be something you feel worried about.
In this article, we’ll discuss school anxiety in preschoolers and how to help your children feel better.
What is School Anxiety?
School anxiety is when a child feels stressed out and nervous about school. This may include fear of bullying, fear of making mistakes, fear of being left out, or fear of not doing well in school. It is different from the normal worries that a child might have.
Some children may have some of the following symptoms:
- Nervousness or uneasiness before starting school.
- Fears about what might happen at school.
- Feeling anxious or scared when going to school.
- Difficulty concentrating on school work.
- Feeling nervous and scared about making mistakes at school.
- Being afraid of being left out of things at school.
- Pretending to be sick to avoid going to school.
- Not wanting to go to school.
- Feeling tired when they get home from school.
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How It Differs from General Anxiety Disorder?
The symptoms of school anxiety may be similar to those that a child with a generalized anxiety disorder might have. However, a child with a generalized anxiety disorder feels anxious about many things, not only school-related things.
Children with school anxiety might feel anxious about the upcoming school year. Or they may feel nervous about a particular teacher or subject. They may be afraid of going to school or that they will be bullied.
It is important to remember that children with generalized anxiety disorder are not necessarily anxious about school. It is more of a long-term pattern of worry and fear that has been around for a long time.
However, it may have started when the child was young, such as when they were going to kindergarten or first grade. Or it might have started when they started schools, such as when they were in preschool or first grade.
Tips on Handling School Anxiety in Preschoolers
Here are some tips on how to help your child feel better.
1. Talk to your child about school anxiety
If you suspect your child is having school anxiety, it is important to talk to them about it. Your child might be worried about going to school because they do not want anyone to make fun of them or they are afraid of making mistakes at school.
Or they might feel afraid that they will be bullied or left out of things at school. You can also tell them you are worried about them being scared at school and that you would like them to talk with their teacher if they have any problems or questions.
Anxious children may also need help with their social skills or other areas of their life, such as their friendships, interests, or hobbies. They may need extra support for a stressful situation as well.
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2. Try talking with your child’s teacher about it
If you think your child has school anxiety, it is important to talk with the teacher and let them know what you think is going on with your child’s behavior at school.
This will help the teacher understand what is happening and how best to deal with it if needed. It will also help the teacher give your child the help they need.
You can also talk with your child’s teacher about what might cause the anxiety and why it is happening. It is important to let them know you are worried about your child and that you would like them to talk with your child if they have any problems or questions.
3. Work with your child’s teacher on their social skills
If your child has social anxiety, it may be important to work with their teacher on how to handle things, such as making friends, playing with other children, and other social situations at school.
This can help reduce some of the stress that is causing their anxiety.
4. Try to keep your stress levels down
It is important not to let yourself get too stressed out by this issue because this can cause more stress for your child.
You want to avoid any meltdowns or tantrums. Also, it’s best to stay calm during the entire school day, especially if your child is already anxious about going to school.
However, let them know you are worried about them and that you would like them to talk with their teacher if they have any problems or questions.
You can also try to reduce your stress levels by trying to get more sleep, having fun activities, and doing things you enjoy.
5. Consider getting extra help from a mental health professional
If you think your child has school anxiety, it may be a good idea to talk with a counselor or therapist about what is going on with your child’s behavior at school. Children can benefit from routine therapy.
Therapists can offer coping strategy skills and ways to help children learn how to handle stress. They can also help children learn how to cope with their anxiety so that they do not feel overwhelmed by it.
Photo by Kelli McClintock on Unsplash.
6. Encourage your child to talk about their fears and worries
Your child needs to talk about what they are feeling and what they are worried about helping them deal with it better. This can include talking about any of the things listed above, or any other concerns that your child might have at school or in life.
Encourage your child to ask questions if they are unsure of something, but do not force them into talking if they do not want to. If your child does not want to talk about something, it is okay for them not to, but try again later on if possible.
7. Set up a consistent routine
Get your child used to go to school by setting up a consistent routine.
For example, try waking him up, taking him out for breakfast, taking care of his morning responsibilities, getting him dressed, and having his morning snack ready before he goes off to school.
This will help reduce the anxiety he may experience when he is going off to school for the first time.
School Anxiety Doesn’t Mean Your Child Can’t Go To School
School anxiety is a common problem that preschoolers have. While it may not disappear quickly, you can help your child manage it. It is important to help your child feel better by talking with them about it and helping them cope with their school anxiety.
Our website offers many resources that can help you with anxiety in children. Check them out here!