Have you noticed your child showing signs of distress in the morning before the school run? Or perhaps they try to claim they are sick quite frequently on days you’re sure that they are well? Both are signs that they’re having problems with school. Some children may even just come straight out and tell you that they hate school. As a parent you will of course want to help them settle in and resolve any issues that they are facing, luckily there are things you can do to help. Take a look at the following advice from an independent school in County Kildare.
Your first response should be to make sure you provide a sympathetic ear. If your child complains to you about school or expresses frustrations, make sure you listen empathetically and make them feel validated. Dismissing their worries will only make the problem worse and they could end up feeling isolated, having no one to air their feelings to. By listening to their concerns you will be able to distinguish the root cause of their worry and start to address it.
There are numerous reasons your child may feel anxious about going to school and identifying the specific cause is crucial to resolving the issue. Once your child has opened up to you about their feelings, ask them what they would change about school if they could. It could be something as simple as fear of catching the bus in the morning, this anxiety could be spilling out into the rest of their day and tainting their overall feelings towards school. It could be that they are having friendship problems or dislike of a certain teacher, but once you know exactly what is going on you will be able to start to rectify the problem by giving them specific advice or communicating with school staff. Sometimes, simple tweaks to their routine can be enough to diminish stress and change their attitude.
If your child is suffering with generalised stress about school or separation anxiety, things can take a little longer to resolve, but it is still not impossible. Again, it is important to listen and be a shoulder to cry on so they feel supported and understood. Try to avoid letting them take unnecessary days off as this will only fan the flames of their anxiety and they will be even more reluctant to go back to school afterwards. Talking to a teacher is a good place to start because once they are aware they will be able to offer extra support to your child throughout the school day. You also need to stay positive when discussing school with your child, reminding them of the things they enjoy about school to try and shift their focus away from the aspects they feel anxious about.