And although some children thrive at school both academically and socially, there are others who experience the utmost terror when the new school period lures around the corner. [Related topics child therapy Westchester NY]
Social anxiety is not uncommon, however there are different degrees and it varies from one person to the next. In fact, we all experience social anxiety to a certain extent but it’s not debilitating for the majority of people.
Your child is just as prone as other children to experiencing social anxiety during back-to-school season. And in some cases, this anxiety can be so intense that it may interfere with your child’s daily activities.
Although for most kids some anxiety at the start of a new semester comes in part from new teachers, new schools, performance expectations, etc. Some other children may develop debilitating fears about this same subject just by looking at them from a different perspective. Will the teachers be mean? Will I ever fit in my new school? Will I be able to keep up with my classes? Will my peers ever accept me?
These are not uncommon questions from kids who might be experiencing a growing and intensified social anxiety around this time of the year. The “if” questions are also very common and some parents can feel frustrated as they think their kid is just being obnoxious and trying to avoid class. But it’s more likely that these children are just nervous and trying to find comfort. If, as a parent, you provide them with a logical yet warm response that makes sense for them, you may help those fears disappear. You will at least be able to minimize the anxiety enough to turn it into a non-debilitating fear. For some children, this won’t be enough and you might have to seek some professional help.
Another common red flag comes from kids who start complaining about headaches, stomachache, nightmares, lack of sleep and many other “conditions” around the first school day or week of the season to avoid going back or delay it for at least a few days. The moment your child starts acting out to avoid going to school, it’s time to take hands on the matter and reach out to a professional who can provide you with insights and solutions.
The chances are, you’ll find the problem to be deeper than just not wanting to go to class. Your psychotherapist will help you find the underlying cause and work with you and your children to solve the problem.
We must not forget that the causes could also be more serious and your child might be experiencing bullying or might be feeling under another kind of threat.
For more information on the Counseling Center’s child therapy in Westchester NY, call 914-793-3388 today.