I can nearly hear the sigh of relief from some parents as their little darlings are returning to school after the summer holidays!
Whilst it may be a relief for parents it can be quite a stressful time for some youngsters. They may be moving up to a new class/year or just starting or changing school. These stresses/anxieties if not treated quickly can turn into full blown phobias and come out in all sorts of different ways. Sometimes these can be very subtle and you may not notice for a while, but usually they start to show extreme anxiety in the form of tummy aches, headaches, feeling sick and in some cases depression or self harming.
As you will know, if your child suffers with school phobia (sometimes referred to as school refusal), trying to get your child to school can turn into a nightmare situation; they are likely to go into a full blown tantrum, which can be very disturbing for you as the parent. This phobia is thought to be present in 1 - 5% of the population.
If you have a youngster showing signs of anxiety/stress, seeking professional help before a bigger problem arises can be a prudent step. The sooner you can enlist help, the smaller the problem will be.
What you can do in the first instance:
- Listen to your child and give them one to one attention - they need to feel that they are being listened to and that someone can help them with their anxiety or fears.
- Always check with your GP that there is not a physical problem.
Here are a couple of helpful links: