School Anxiety

You’ve been noticing that your child has been a little more withdrawn than usual, and you’re starting to get worried. Maybe they’ve been getting stomach aches or crying more easily. Or maybe they’re just not their usual bubbly self. Any of these could be signs that your child is struggling with school anxiety.

Anxiety in children and teenagers is more common than you might think. In fact, according to the National Institute of Mental Health, around 1 in 5 children and adolescents have an anxiety disorder. If your child is one of them, you’re not alone.

But that doesn’t mean you have to face it alone. This article will discuss some strategies to help children cope with school anxiety.

Understanding School Anxiety and Low Self-Esteem

One of the best things you can do for a child who is struggling with school anxiety is to help them understand what’s happening. It can be very frightening for a child to feel like they are out of control, and anxiety can manifest in many different ways.

Children with low self-esteem are often the ones who struggle the most with school anxiety. They may feel like they are not good enough or that they can’t do it. This can be a difficult cycle to break, but it is important to start with understanding what’s going on.

Once you have a better understanding of the problem, you can begin to work on solutions.

Warning Signs of School Anxiety

If you’re noticing that your child is refusing to go to school, or is missing school frequently, it’s important to investigate the reasons behind it. Similarly, if your child is having crying spells, or withdrawing from friends and activities, it’s possible that they’re struggling with school anxiety.

These are all warning signs that your child may be experiencing too much stress and anxiety when it comes to attending school. It’s important to remember that everyone handles stress differently, so there isn’t necessarily one “correct” way for your child to cope with their anxiety.

However, there are some strategies that may help your child feel more at ease and in control. For example, if your child is feeling overwhelmed, encourage them to take a few deep breaths and picture themselves in a calm and happy place. If they’re struggling with low self-esteem, help them build up their confidence by praising their accomplishments and helping them set realistic goals.

Strategies to Cope With School Anxiety

In NLP we can use the belief change exercise to help. You can also use relaxation techniques to help, such as deep breathing exercises, visualisation or progressive muscle relaxation.

Another strategy that can be helpful is teaching children and teenagers how to cope with stressful situations in a more helpful way. This can involve teaching them about assertiveness skills, problem-solving skills or how to manage their emotions.

Encouraging Self-Esteem in Children

When it comes to school anxiety, it’s important to emphasise that the root cause of this anxiety is likely self-esteem issues. While there are many ways to help alleviate school anxiety in children, one of the most important things you can do is to focus on increasing their self-esteem.

Positive affirmations are a great way to promote self-acceptance and build self-confidence. Have your child write down or memorise a list of positive statements they can say (or even silently repeat) when they feel anxious. Examples might include “I am capable” or “I am strong” or “I am loved and supported by people around me”.

Another helpful technique is having your child keep a thought journal. They can write down all the worries and anxieties that come up during school, as well as ways to combat them with more positive thoughts. This helps them recognise how our thoughts can affect our feelings and emotional state so that they can be more mindful of how their mind works and learn how to better manage their anxieties.

Finally, don’t forget about encouraging self-care for your child! Self-care activities like going for a walk, taking a bath, reading a book or doing some creative activities can not only make them feel better in the moment, but help them gain confidence in their own strength and resilience over time.

Strategies for Parents to Help Their Child Manage School Anxiety

As a parent, it’s important to recognise small successes and achievements, such as getting to school on time or just being able to cope with the fear of going to school. Acknowledge and appreciate these positive steps in order to build your child’s confidence. It is also important to be aware of what your child is going through and that you understand their fears and worries. Showing that you’re there for them can have a huge impact on their self-esteem.

Positive reinforcement also goes a long way in helping children cope with school anxiety. Give them praise and rewards when they take small steps towards overcoming their fears. It may be something like telling them “You did great getting ready for school today—I’m proud of you” or giving them a small reward like a sticker or pat on the back when they are able to make it through the day without too much anxiety.

These small gestures can help give children the courage to face their fears and be more confident at school.

It’s important to take care of your mental health just as much as your physical health, so don’t be afraid to ask for help. If your child is struggling with school anxiety please get in touch and I can do exercises to build your child’s confidence, self esteem and resilience so they can overcome their anxiety and be a happier and more confident version of themselves.


By Chloe Farmer

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