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05/07/2022 | BehaviourBlogSchool success

Facing Anxiety At School – 7 Tips to Help

Anxiety surrounding school is on the rise on the back of long periods at home in lockdown and the frequent and unpredictable changes to schooling over the past few years.   Anxiety in kids can sometimes be difficult to notice and once identified,  it can be challenging to know how to help. Anxiety in kids can present in many ways – it can be shown through trouble focusing in class, upset stomachs, finding it difficult to raise their hand in class, increased tantrums or even feeling unable to get their uniform on in the morning. School refusal can increase especially after holidays or sick days but may present after an event or issue at school also. 

Here’s how to help your little one regain their confidence.  And remember to reach out if these strategies don’t work or if you are unsure of how to implement them. 

  • Reduce avoidance and instead increase confidence – The more we avoid the task that is causing the anxiety the bigger the anxiety can get. To combat this, we want to encourage facing the anxiety and increase the child’s confidence that they can face their anxiety.
  • Start with small goals and increase from there – If your child is struggling to get to school, instead of focusing on completing a full day or full week at school – start small. The first goal could be getting their uniform and bag packed with them the night before, then getting dressed in the morning, moving to getting in the car and then getting to the school gate.  Continue to grow from there. If a child is faced with a smaller goal it can feel more achievable instead of overwhelming. 
  • Keep the anticipation time as low as possible – The anticipation for something that could trigger anxiety can cause your child to build up their anxiety over time and make an event feel very daunting. This may mean planning for school the night before so your child feels prepared instead of building up the idea of school for a week leading up to it.
  • Focus on their achievements – If you notice negative self talk occurring, try to redirect to the child’s achievements. For example, if they are focused on not getting through a full day of school, redirect this focus on the achievement of getting dressed and getting to school and the wins they are having.
  • Validate their feelings without giving power to their fears – If your child is communicating how they feel towards a fear it is important to understand you can support them without agreeing to it. Focusing on them understanding that you can hear they are scared, that it is okay and that you are there to support them to face it.
  • Model healthy behaviours and communicate – A child learns and develops from their environment around them,  so ensuring you are demonstrating staying calm and using healthy habits to assist with anxiety will help them to feel more confident in facing their own anxiety. 
  • Book in with a counsellor to gain further support – If your child needs further support book in with a counsellor. They can help your child learn some skills to assist with their anxiety and also help them to better understand their triggers whilst giving them a safe space to express themselves. We can also provide support and strategies to parents to use at home. 



Written by: Lorrae Taylor


Sensational Kids