Feeling anxious about going to school isn’t a new phenomenon afflicting today’s kids. After all, we all remember saying we didn’t want to go to school the day of a test. But today’s students are dealing with more stress and more pressure than ever before.
Students today are under pressure at a much earlier age then when we were kids. Not only are we expecting kids to be separated from home as young as three, but we are now testing kids much younger as well. Regardless of the age of your child, they are probably experiencing some sort of pressure and stress at school.
What is school anxiety?
If your child is complaining of headaches or stomachaches on a regular basis, you might want to take notice and look into it a little more. From Kindergartners now being given standardised tests, to middle schoolers being pressured to think about college. The stressors our kids are facing today is much higher than any generation before them.
What your child is feeling might be school-related anxiety. But what is school anxiety? Anxiety can have many faces in children, just as it can with adults. When school becomes so stressful that your child is feeling overwhelmed, they might start to ask to avoid the stressful situation – school.
School anxiety interventions
So, what can we do about it? Now that we know what school anxiety is, let’s discuss what we can do to help intervene with our kids. While it might be easier in the short term to allow your child to stay home when they say they are sick, it won’t be good for them in the long run.
According to Harvard Health, allowing your child to stay home might make it harder to return later. Instead, talk with your child and help them to face their fears. While it might be harder in the short term, learning this life skill is important for the long term.
For your child to learn these lessons now is much easier with a helpful parent guiding them along. Without learning how to face their fears now, we are setting them up to have to learn them as an adult – when they will be facing much harder life stressors.
The fact of the matter is that we are putting much more pressure on our kids to be successful at a much younger age than ever before. If your child is complaining about feeling sick, or is asking to stay home, talk with them to ensure it might not be something worse than a common cold.
Talk with your child and really listen when they do open up. You might be surprised what they have to say and what they are truly feeling. Learning to handle these tough situations and face their fears head on is an invaluable life skill you can help your child learn now, so they can better cope with life as they get older.
Navigating childhood has never been easy. But now with the intense amount of pressure on our kids to succeed at a much earlier age, it is more important than ever to stay involved and talk with our children regularly.