Monday, 21 October 2013

Mum, do I have to go to school?


September is the start of the new school year.  A time of great excitement for many children, new clothes, new shoes, new pencils, new books, a new classroom, a new teacher and for some a new school.  All in all, a brand new start.  However, for some children this new start causes them to worry.  This feeling of anxiety is generally normal and with encouragement and sensitivity most children will overcome their worries in time.  But what if you have concerns that your child has not overcome their new school year anxieties and has not settled?  When is it time for you to discuss your concerns with your child's class teacher? 

The following brief points are general indicators of anxiety.

               Excessive worry and anxiety

               An inability to control fear and worry

               Silence or reluctance to talking

               Development or reappearance of nervous habits - thumb sucking, bed wetting


               Poor concentration

               Poor behaviour at home and/or school

               Irritability and tantrums

               Sleep disruption


               Muscle Tension

               Feeling unwell - headaches, nausea, aches.

If you do have concerns about your child, ask yourself "Are my child's fears stopping him from doing things he wants to be able to do?  Are they messing up friendships, school and family life? " If the answer to either question is "Yes.  A great deal! "   Then it is time for you to seek support from your child's school. (You may also want to seek advice from your doctor).  Arrange an appointment to discuss your concerns with your child's class teacher.  Seek their help to support your child to build confidence through strategies such as a worry box in which your child writes their worries down and places it in the box (so that the worry is no longer in their heads) or a chart that records and praises your child when they have faced and overcome their fears. It might help to create a consistent routine for your child to follow to help them feel secure.  Together the class teacher and you can support your child to believe the words of Winnie-the-Pooh

 "You're braver than you believe, stronger than you seem and smarter than you think."



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