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School phobia: Find out if your little one suffers from it

Maria de Piña
5 min read

The fear that an infant may experience regarding going to school is not necessarily associated with bullying, this is called school phobia. It is a deep fear of going to or staying in school, and it can be very affecting.

The factors that trigger the phobia are very diverse, but this problem goes beyond the typical rejection that every child experiences at some stage about attending school. School phobia is a nightmare for boys, that's why we'll teach you how to deal with it.

School phobia or rejection?

School phobia: Find out if your little one suffers from it – Education
school phobia

These two concepts are often confused, and although they are similar, there are some clear differences that help us identify the intensity of the problem. Let's clarify the concepts so you can help your little one in the right way.

school phobia

The phobia is characterized by a deep fear with high intensity that causes physical and psychological changes in the person who suffers from it. A child with school phobia will do much more than cry or complain, he can become violent, isolate himself or get sick because of fear.

What he experiences goes beyond a simple rejection of a specific area, his panic is even manifested on the way to school. Knowing that he has to go back to school the next day disturbs him and he only has peace outside of it.

school refusal

In this case we find a dislike for certain areas or people at school, it may even be a dislike for studying. The child is aware and clearly identifies what he does not like, does everything possible not to go to school and protests in different ways.

It is common to only observe crying and tantrums intermittently, and they can turn it into a means of manipulation. Clearly, we are not facing excessive fear or panic, but rather a strong displeasure caused by one or more factors.

What symptoms can school phobia present?

Each case can manifest itself differently depending on the intensity of the fear, but in general there are certain symptoms that are very common. In the psychological aspect, episodes of fear with violent reactions, crying and complaints are notorious.

Boys tend to isolate themselves, this leads them to hide and avoid interacting with others. Depressive features also manifest, such as sadness or low spirits.

On the other hand, fits of anger are quite frequent and dangerous. When suffering from the phobia they are immersed in a strong state of anxiety, which also triggers physical reactions such as the following:

  • Excessive sweating.

  • Tremors.

  • Headache.

  • Diarrhea.

  • vomiting.

  • Nausea.

  • Stomachache.

  • Insomnia.

Factors that cause school phobia

School phobia: Find out if your little one suffers from it – Education
Causes of school phobia

As for the reasons that can cause school phobia, we find a long list of possible culprits. Next, we present the most common ones that motivate the appearance of this psychological conflict.

Changes of location or school

Fear may arise motivated by not wanting to live new experiences, a deep fear of the unknown may be the reason for the phobia.

It happens very often in families that move from state or country, it also happens if there is a sudden change of school.

academic failure

In homes with high standards of academic demand, it happens that an infant develops the phobia for fear of failing.

This happens even more when he is bombarded since he was a child with very high projections of the future that terrify him.

Harassment or bullying

Bullying is not always the main cause, but it is very frequent. Fear of peer abuse is a strong motivation for presenting the phobia.

The fear of being at risk on a daily basis makes many children never want to go to school.

close losses

If a child suffers the loss of a close family member who is very involved in their school process, this can affect them greatly.

The fact of knowing that that person is no longer there can cause the phobia to manifest as a response to feeling alone at school.

Parental conflicts

Divorces and separations are frequent triggers of multiple disorders in children, and school phobia is one of them.

Assuming the separation from their parents can cause the appearance of fear of school by feeling unprotected or rejected.

forced absence

There have been scenarios where children who are forced to leave school temporarily due to accidents, conflicts or illnesses, lead them to not want to return to it.

Their phobia mostly centers on not being prepared to return to that environment.

What should a parent do to help their child?

School phobia: Find out if your little one suffers from it – Education
How to overcome school phobia

The first thing you should do to help him is not to support his idea of sheltering at home, although we understand that it is not comfortable for the child, not going to school only worsens his condition. Clearly, this must be done from a position of tact and understanding.

Parents should strive to find the source of fear, to know how to deal with it, for this they may need help from an expert. A child psychologist can be very useful to find the root of the problem that causes the phobia.

When the cause is identified, it should be notified to the school so that they can provide the best possible support and facilitate the child's stay in school. Parents should show the child as much support and support as they can, and avoid judging or pressuring the child.

Creating scenarios for children to interact with other children their age is a very practical tool to strengthen their degree of interaction with others. This causes him to see school as a place to interact and not purely as a place of study.

If you have identified yourself with this problem, do not fear, follow these tips and seek professional help, because everything has a solution.