It’s crucial to make clear that the word “school refusal” is not helpful before moving forward. In most cases, a youngster does not consciously “refuse” to go; instead, they merely feel unable to for several reasons. Because of this, the phrase “school phobia” is used more frequently. Educating adolescents afraid of school is highly challenging to all parties concerned. The parents find it difficult to comprehend what is happening to their child and how to support your child. While still providing for their student’s educational needs, the teachers endeavour to support them. And perhaps most crucially, the young person is experiencing extreme exhaustion and cannot even begin to describe what is happening to them. The young person must receive support as soon as possible, and this can only occur if experts can all set our prejudices aside and take the time to comprehend school phobia.
Causes Of School Anxiety
It’s critical to remember that behaviour is a kind of communication because our brains do not fully develop until we are 25 years old. A youngster may feel unwilling to attend school for various reasons; some may be extremely obvious, while others may be more subtle or difficult to comprehend. Several instances include:
- They think differently because of identity problems or neurodiversity
- They have low self-esteem or negligible thought patterns (e.g., feeling that they are “not decent enough”, so there’s no point in participating)
- They are nervous about leaving a circumstance at home, such as a sick relative or family members who are divorcing
- They feel like they do not fit in; possibly because they are having difficulties with social contacts and feeling isolated
- They experience social worry and anxiety when interacting with others
- They struggle academically due to dyslexia, which makes them feel ignored or unappreciated
- They need to be safeguarded because they are being abused in some way (sexually, psychologically, labor-wise, criminally, over county lines, etc.)
- Their social, psychological, and cognitive demands create a barrier because they have neurodevelopmental difficulties, such as (confirmed or undiscovered) autism
It’s also worthwhile to learn about their sleep schedule because they can have a disrupted sleep pattern that makes it difficult for them to get up for school. This can result from staying up late playing video games or using social networks, or it might be an avoidance strategy for other persistent social and emotional problems (which the “escapism” provided by online playing or social media may also represent).
Being overly weary can also signify depression because when the body closes down to protect oneself, it can be challenging to get up in the mornings.
Helping Students Who are Afraid of School
Schools are constantly busy, and teachers must balance the need to improve students’ academic performance with the duty of supporting their well-being. Nevertheless, with so many students in a single class, it’s not always simple to tell when a child is having trouble, especially if that youngster is skilled at hiding their problems. And it’s even more complicated if the kid can’t attend school. When a youngster feels alone or unnoticed, it can be uncomfortable since, for them, school is frequently more about social activity than scholastic rewards. A youngster unable to attend school is likely to feel unnoticed, lonely, or as though no one is interested in them.
Teachers must engage students at their level. To sincerely listen to the youngster without passing judgment or reprimanding them. It’s critical to promote open communication about what’s happening for them, their anxieties, and whether they have any suggestions for what would be of assistance. Then, concentrate on the child’s abilities and expand on those. It’s crucial to remember that kids frequently find it challenging to speak up at huge gatherings with teachers, parents, and other adults.
They might find it easier to speak with someone they trust beforehand who can act as an ally for them. Letting the youngster know they are not in danger and are not isolated are just a few simple things that can go a long way. Approaching this challenge from such a “together” angle might reassure the child and inspire confidence in problem-solving.
Identify a specific school area where the child can go without being seen when they need help. Consider what this space is also used for; for example, barring areas for troublesome or misbehaving pupils are not very warm if one has a mental health emergency.
If a kid is having trouble getting to school right now, it can be helpful for them to talk to someone in a nonjudgmental setting where they can be heard and supported as they analyse and understand their emotions.