School can be tricky. Even if your kids can’t wait to start school again this fall there comes maybe a time where she is afraid to go there. This might be because of bullying from other children but it can be also because a teacher is a bit nasty. And lately with the seemingly non-stop rash of school violence, it might seem even harder to help your child cope with the fear of going to school. But children need to attend school, so you have to help ease those fears. Here are ten ways to help your child overcome his or her fears about school.
How to Help Your Child Overcome Fears about School
1. It’s important to know that fears about school are very common. So don’t dismiss your child’s fears. Let him (or her) know that many experience similar fears. However, it is important to talk about it to make sure there is not something more going on – like maybe a bully or some sort of abuse. This is rare, but it happens and therefore it is important to check out on that and talk to your child.
2. Make sure your child is taking care of the basics. Eating and sleeping are still important. A child who has slept enough is happier and less aggressive. So she won’t run so easily into trouble with others.
3. Help your child problem solve and come up with a plan to deal with these fears. Ask him, “What’s the worst case scenario of your fear?” Then ask, “And what can you do if that does happen?” Find solutions on how your child can react. Doing so will help her to find these scenarios less scary and overcome them more easily.
4. Role play with your child. If your child is fearful because of a bully, then try a little role play to help him come up with ways to deal with the bully. This is like preparing a child for a bully. Most probably it will happen the one or other time in life and the better your child is prepared the easier he or she can get over it.
5. Shift your child’s focus. Help your child see the good in things. Find something about school that your child enjoys and have her focus on that.
6. Make sure you’re not adding to your child’s anxiety. Sometimes our own fears about things can rub off onto our children. You need to make sure you aren’t expressing your own fears with your child. And if you are, then take some time to talk about it together. But make more of an effort to not put your fears on your child.
7. Create a routine. Many times a child’s fears revolve around just not knowing. So create a schedule so your child knows what to expect. It will help transition into the school routine.
8. Go to the school with your child. If she is nervous about the school and where classes are, then help her by going to school a few days before to walk around and figure out where classes are located or see the classroom. Take the unknown away so there is much less to fear about.
9. If it gets worse – talk to the teachers about your child’s fears and anxieties. Let them know so they can keep an eye on things and help address things, especially if you’re dealing with a bully situation. By no means the teacher should grab the person who is bullying. Better it is to talk in general about bullying and address what kind of people do it. Often a hint on that is much better than blaming someone who does it because then things might get worse for your child.
10. Don’t pull your child out of school just because of fears. There are many things in life that will cause fear and we have to handle them. So you need to give your child the tools and have her stand for herself instead of running away.
Communication is going to be key in making sure your child is comfortable with school. It might take a few days for your child to overcome these fears, so be patient and continue talking to your child and her teacher.
Doing crafts about school together is another great idea to make “school something nice”. These lovely digital scrapbooking layouts have been created using “Back to School”