Back to School…..Easy for some!

When going to School is your worst nightmare

For some young people school is a place of stress, worry and anxiety. Also for parents the daily struggle to reduce these fears can be exhausting!

Children can start to display symptoms of school phobia quite early, and if left without support, this can severely reduce a child’s ability to engage and thrive in a learning environment.

Back to school

What to look out for:

  • Sleepless nights, waking early or refusing to get up
  • Repetitive questions about school routines and timetables
  • Frequent physical symptoms, upset tummy, feeling unwell, dizziness
  • Truanting or skipping classes
  • Inability to learn or engage in the educational environment
  • Extreme clinginess to parents/adults and panic when separated

Sometimes, young people are unsure how to express feelings of anxiety and stress so their emotions can manifest in other ways such as physical symptoms. It is always advisable to talk to your GP to eliminate any physical illness before seeking support with mental health.

Some simple strategies for supporting young people include:

  • Asking the child what their worries are
  • Talking to a trusted figure at school
  • Making simple changes in daily routines to eliminate sources of stress
  • Keeping morning routines simple
  • Using distractions, music, drawing, games etc 
  • Keeping a worry diary

The ME Project is an approved provider of Alternative Provision to Education for Doncaster Metropolitan Borough Council. We work with young people to improve their emotional resilience and coping strategies around school. Getting young people to successfully reintegrate into school after a period of non attendance or avoidance is our ultimate aim.

Contact us if you are worried that a child has a school phobia.

If your child is displaying any behaviours that could indicate a concern, there are some helpful resources online, Click Here to read Leah Davies MD strategies and advice from the Kelly Bear website.