School is an exciting experience for many kids, but for some, it is downright scary. If you have a child that is apprehensive about going to school, it can really cause a strain on the family. Whether your child physically resists going to school every morning or just doesn’t seem happy when he or she goes, it can be heartbreaking for parents as well as children. Sometimes all it takes is finding something at school that kids can relate to or get excited about to help them through their feelings.
What is the Fear?
Try to find out what your child is afraid of at school. Is he or she the “new kid” at school, so he or she is afraid of not relating to anyone? Maybe your child is in a class that he or she just doesn’t know anyone, even if he or she is not new to the school. For some kids, sitting at a desk and listening to the teacher is frightening. Some kids are afraid of giving the wrong answer, are too shy to talk to the teacher or are afraid of being away from mom or dad. Every child has their own fear and it’s the parent’s job to get to the root of these feelings in order to help.
Taking Baby Steps
Once you know what your child’s fear is, you can begin to take baby steps to help him or her overcome it. This will not likely happen overnight, but taking small steps in the right direction will make the process go faster. Sometimes all it takes is going to see the teacher with your child for a little one-on-one communication. When the teacher has the time to get on your child’s level and talk to him or her about school, favorite hobbies, favorite sports or anything else that interests your child, everything can seem less overwhelming for your child.
Once you have done everything you can to help your child, it is time to let him or her go and see what happens. In most cases, kids learn to adapt, find their commonality with others in the class and become comfortable in their own environment. In other cases, sometimes a little more parental involvement is required. Either way, in the end, kids are resilient and with a little encouragement can learn to make the best of any situation, just like Fireman Max in KP Baker’s, “Fireman Max Goes to 2nd Grade.”