Helping your child who is afraid of school

Sometimes, children who are worried about something that could happen to them can do awkward things. Children who fear a bully think they will beat them up if they don’t have lunch money might say something like, “Mom, I don’t feel good” just before breakfast time. For many children, a series of events involving peer pressure happen to them at school. They can be exciting, or perhaps frightening. Those children who seem to be avoiding school because they are simply afraid should understand that will only make matters worse.

Talk to your children

School bullies who constantly pick on young children may be the blame for their refusals to attend class. If your children are involved in bullying as well, talk to them. Arrange a time when they aren’t terribly busy, or they’re in the mood for some communication. In a soft, spoken manner, ask them to tell you exactly what happened between them and the bullies. Did those bullies threaten your children with a possible fist fight if they don’t give them a dollar for lunch?

Ask them where this issue occurred. Did it happen on the school playground, in the hallway, or an unsupervised classroom? Whatever the destination, please tell your children to talk to one of their teachers. Make sure that when they do decide to discuss their troubles to the teachers, they should bring up every detail of what happened as well.

Visit your children’s school

There is another option for investigating your children’s problems at school, especially if they don’t feel like sitting down to discuss their troubles. Visit the school in person. From there, you can arrange to chat with a school counselor or principal. Be sure that you tell the whole story involved with your children. You might begin with, “My children’s been acting very strange lately. I need to know what is going on with them when they’re at school.” Once again, if the school bullies are involved, be sure to ask your children for the bullies’ names and grade levels.

Schedule an appointment with a psychologist

If you know a psychologist in your area, make an appointment to speak with that person. Be sure to bring your children with you, as the psychologist will ask them questions about their problems. You will need to explain the conflict; mention when it started, how long it happened, and the people involved. Finally, have you and your children listen to the psychologist, as he or she will be able to come up with solutions for dealing with bullies or other problems at school. 

Encourage your children to ‘be yourself’

You can definitely tell your children to just be themselves and do what’s right, no matter what happens to them. Tell them to ignore other students who may be picking on them and act as if nothing happened. Your children should also remember this strong piece of advice that goes for everyone as well: Respect is earned only when given.

School is a place to learn. It is not a place for fear just because something unfortunate happened there. Schools have their own mission statements. Those missions have one thing in common: providing an outstanding education for all students.