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School Phobia: Roles of Parents and Teachers

By profession, he is an IGCSE English Language Teacher, a teachers' trainer, and a creative writer.

School Phobia

School Phobia

School phobia is often linked to performance anxiety and excessive expectations. Problematic behaviors and physical suffering indeed express more about school phobia. However, a teacher may help to get rid of school phobia when s/he gets full support from the parents and school authority. It is no denying fact that almost every school around the globe tries to give the best. However, in most of the cases, such condition turns into a grave situation due to the lack of combined support by the parents and teachers. To deal with this psychological issue of a child, parents, along with the teachers, should take proper steps. Psychologist support is also significant depending on the condition and the situation of the child.

What Is A School Phobia?

Fear is an absolutely natural feeling. It warns us of the dangers and urges us to be careful. Anxiety often manifests itself in the face of a new situation, not just in children. If fear can be positive and stimulating, school phobia is a negative manifestation. The children concerned often feel that they are not living up to what is expected of them. The danger represented by the school then provokes psychic or psychosomatic reactions.

The Manifestations Of School Phobia

Psychologists distinguish several forms of school phobia and anxious school refusal. In the second case, the fear is not caused by the school as such, but by the anxiety of being separated from a reference person, generally the father or the mother. School phobia does not usually prevent children from working and doing homework. But the fear of being separated from his father or mother can lead the child to cry and cry when he has to go to school.

Parents need to act at an early stage when they see a school phobia in their child. The primary school children must learn that they can not always be with their parents and that he will not get serious when they are in school, to them or their parents. This is an essential step for their emotional autonomy. On the other hand, the child who suffers from some form of school phobia will seek to avoid situations and people who have a link with the school. Several reasons can explain this behavior.

  • School phobia often comes from the fear of having bad grades and the feeling of failure associated with it. In such a case, let's talk about the fear of examinations. School phobia is usually manifested when the expectations of parents and relatives for the child are excessive or if children have a strong tendency to compare themselves to classmates or brothers and sisters who are more gifted than them or that they believe more talented than them. Children are generally not as afraid of the exam as it is of the failure that may result.
  • School phobia is linked to social fear. They fear the mockery of their friends, school teachers, and relatives. In such a situation, they are filled with shame, embarrassment, and the fear of being ridiculous. It is not uncommon that the children concerned have already been confronted with cases of mobbing.

Find Symptoms Of School Phobia In Time

Children react very differently to stressful situations they face in their school environment. Whether physical or mental, the characteristic symptoms of school phobia vary from one child to another, certain subjects being able to combine several stressors at the same time. If parents notice more than one of the following symptoms in their child, they should be alert and seek medical advice if necessary.

  • Sleep disturbances and possibly nightmares
  • Headache and stomach ache
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Fatigue, restlessness, and exhaustion
  • Lack of motivation
  • Nervousness and irritability
  • Sweating
  • Nocturnal enuresis (bedwetting)
  • Behavioral disorders such as stuttering, onychophagy, etc
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Seeking Help To Combat School Phobia

Whether the child suffers from school phobia or anxious school refusal, he must continue to go to school anyway. For specialists, children can only overcome school phobia by confronting it. Prolonged absenteeism from school reinforces the feeling of fear, not to mention that the child is late. In such a situation, children especially need the help of their parents, who will have to reassure them, support them, and dedicate time to them. However, in some cases, it is found that parents do not have time. Thus, this psychological part leads to the somewhat worst situation for the child. On the contrary, if the teachers do not understand that the child is going through such a psychological state and the teacher is not taking steps to inform the parents, the condition starts going out of reach. Besides, if the teacher becomes strict to the student, the situation may take a devastating one.

Depending on the intensity and the causes of the school phobia, parents need to decide whether or not to seek help from a specialist. In the event of massive school anxiety, it is practically impossible for parents to solve the problem on their own. To find help, they can refer to help centers and psychologists and therapists for children. School phobia can be diagnosed through interviews and an ad hoc questionnaire. Parents can help children in the healing process by following these tips:

  • Take the child seriously and be understanding
  • Listen to the child
  • Encourage the child and show him that we believe in him
  • Develop strategies with the child
  • Show love and patience
  • Build the child's self-confidence
  • Do not put more pressure on the child by forcing him to go to school or by always demanding more from him
  • Don't take the problem lightly

Parents who find themselves at an impasse should seek professional help. Also, it is wise, in agreement with the child, to approach the problem with people from the school, for example, the class teacher, a trusted teacher who will seek to help the child to overcome his school phobia.

Special Note To The School Authority And Teachers

School Authority must address this situation seriously. Whenever school authority is recruiting new teachers, the administration must ensure that newly hired teachers, along with the previously recruited teachers, are getting professional training, especially on how to deal with school phobia and motivating students. Every teacher must understand that they are preparing children for their own future since these students will rule the world soon. As a teacher, if you neglect your duty, you are responsible for a life and the future of the world. School phobia may end up one's enthusiasm to learn and study.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2020 Md Akbar Ali


Md Akbar Ali (author) from Dhaka, Bangladesh on July 01, 2020:

Thank you.

Eric Dierker from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on July 01, 2020:

what a terrible problem. Good job covering it.

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