I’m keen to understand the psychological aspects of separation anxiety and childhood phobias. Apart from anxiety related to school, my 7 year old boy is otherwise pretty smart, healthy and fairly social with friends. I just want to balance things out for him.
Since you’ve identified the trigger (school) of your child’s anxiety, it’s a first important step toward acknowledging the problem. Next is to understand whether the anxiety is chronic (happens every day the child goes to school) or only on certain days (e.g., Mondays). A lot of us adults also tend to feel stressed & anxious on Mondays following a weekend break — Monday morning blues — so relating it to the child’s experiences is crucial as well.
At the same time, you need to differentiate between something that’s part of the growing years (like separation anxiety in young children) and something that borders on phobia that may require counseling. I have a 9 year old niece with social anxiety, so I’m aware of the need to grasp early warning signs, including the intensity of the same.
Another thing to consider are the school-specific external triggers as well as internal triggers related to the family environment:
- Are there any factors in school that are making your child anxious? Like bullying by classmates, difficulty in learning, teacher’s attitude toward your child, etc.
- One example is anxiety that may develop if a child is neglected or lacks the basic need of security. If this is not available to the child, his sense of anxiety goes unabated.
While these may be difficult questions to answer, it’s important to consider all facts so you get vital clues to your specific case.
Understanding a child’s emotional response to fear helps you cope, deal with and treat your child with anxiety about school. This is as important for the child as it is to you as a parent.
by: Ms Sparks
on: 11th September 11