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Tuesday, August 9, 2011

How to Help Your Child Deal With School Anxiety

Whether your child is afraid to leave home or whether she is one who is used to Mommy or Daddy being close beside her, separation anxiety and other school-related worries can be frightening to children.

Yes, children feel panic occasionally. And trying something new, like attending school for the first time sometimes causes anxiety in your child.

According to Phobics-Awareness.org, anxiety causes "stomachaches, nausea, fatigue, shaking, a racing heart and frequent trips to the toilet." Social phobias include fear about performance (speaking in front of the class or participating in games children don't know how to play) and making new friends. Phobics-Awareness.org offers lots of information for parents dealing with their child's school anxiety, and they provide a link to a book entitled, The Anxiety-Free Child Program, developed by Rich Presta.

Another helpful site in dealing with child anxiety is the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry (aacap.org). Click the link and you will find information for dealing with childhood anxiety.

To help your child transition from a home environment to a school setting, go to the school before school starts. Show your child around the classroom and the school. Introduce him to the outdoor play area, the school cafeteria, the library, the gym, and when possible, the principal, and the teacher. The more familiar your child becomes with his surroundings, the better your child will feel about leaving home.

Another helpful suggestion is to start teaching your child at home. Make learning fun, so she can discover how enjoyable learning and discovering can be. If the anxiety becomes a phobia, for your sake and for the sake of your child, seek professional counseling.


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