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How To Help Your Child With Anxiety About School

How To Help Your Child With Anxiety About School

Thursday, May 16, 2024

Raising children is a journey filled with highs, lows, and a multitude of concerns. The highs are undoubtedly moments of pure joy and pride, such as witnessing their first steps, hearing their contagious laughter, and celebrating their achievements. 

These moments make all the challenges worthwhile. However, the lows can be equally intense, from sleepless nights and tantrums to navigating through their struggles and disappointments. Concerns about their well-being, safety, education, and future can often keep parents up at night.


Balancing the highs, lows, and concerns of raising children is a complex yet incredibly rewarding experience that shapes both the children and the parents themselves.

School anxiety is a growing concern among children and their parents. With increasing academic pressures, social challenges, and the ever-present fear of safety, it’s no surprise that more students are struggling with anxiety related to school. 

Understanding and addressing this anxiety is crucial for the well-being and academic success of children. Here are some practical strategies to help kids overcome and deal with school-related anxiety and how choosing the right educational environment can make a significant difference.

Understanding School Anxiety

School anxiety can manifest in various ways, impacting both the physical and emotional well-being of a child. Recognizing these signs early is essential for addressing the underlying issues and providing the necessary support.

  • Physical Symptoms: Anxiety often presents itself through physical symptoms. Children may frequently complain of headaches, stomachaches, or other unexplained pains. These symptoms can result in frequent visits to the school nurse or requests to stay home from school. 
  • Emotional Outbursts: Children with school anxiety may have emotional outbursts that seem disproportionate to the situation. These can include crying, anger, or irritability, especially when faced with tasks or situations related to school. These outbursts are often a way for children to express their overwhelming feelings and stress.
  • Reluctance to Go to School: A child with school anxiety may show a strong reluctance or refusal to go to school. They might make excuses to avoid school, such as claiming to be ill or expressing fears about what might happen during the school day. This avoidance behavior is a key indicator of anxiety and should be addressed promptly.
  • Difficulties in Concentrating: Anxiety can significantly impact a child’s ability to concentrate and focus on their schoolwork. This can result in declining academic performance, unfinished assignments, and a general sense of frustration. Teachers might notice that the child appears distracted, restless, or unable to complete tasks that were previously manageable.
  • Social Withdrawal: Anxiety can cause children to withdraw from social interactions with their peers. They may avoid group activities, have fewer friends, and prefer to be alone during recess or lunchtime. This social withdrawal can further exacerbate feelings of isolation and anxiety.
  • Sleep Disturbances: Anxiety can also affect a child's sleep patterns. They might have trouble falling asleep, experience frequent nightmares, or wake up feeling unrefreshed. Lack of adequate sleep can, in turn, worsen the symptoms of anxiety, creating a vicious cycle.

Practical Strategies To Address School Anxiety

1) Open Communication

Encourage your child to express their feelings and listen without judgment. Create a safe space where they feel comfortable sharing their worries. Regularly ask about their day and pay attention to any changes in behavior.

2) Establish A Routine

Children thrive on routine. Ensure they have a consistent schedule that includes time for homework, play, and relaxation. A predictable routine can help reduce anxiety by providing a sense of stability and control.

3) Set Aside Bible Study And Devotional Time

Establish a family devotional time that includes singing together, praying together, and studying Scripture. 

4) Encourage A Healthy Lifestyle

A balanced diet, regular exercise, and adequate sleep are crucial for mental health. Encourage your child to engage in physical activities they enjoy and ensure they get enough rest each night.

5) Positive Reinforcement

Acknowledge and praise your child's efforts and achievements, no matter how small. Positive reinforcement can boost their confidence and reduce anxiety about school performance.

6) Collaborate With Teachers

Work closely with your child's teachers to understand their challenges and develop a plan to support them. Teachers can provide valuable insights and may offer accommodations to help your child feel more comfortable at school.

7) Educational Choices Matter

Consider educational environments that cater to your child's needs. Different types of schools offer various benefits that can help reduce school anxiety.

The Role Of Educational Choice In Reducing School Anxiety

Private education can be a great choice in helping your child work through school anxiety. 

1) Smaller Class Sizes

Schools with smaller class sizes allow for more individualized attention. Teachers can better understand each student’s unique needs and provide tailored support. This personalized approach can significantly reduce anxiety as students feel more seen and heard.

2) Statistically Safer Schools

Safety is a top concern for many parents and students. Choosing a school that emphasizes safety can alleviate fears and provide a more secure learning environment. This includes schools with robust safety protocols and a strong sense of community.

3) Individualized Attention

Schools that offer individualized attention ensure that each student’s learning style and pace are accommodated. This can be particularly beneficial for anxious students who may struggle in more traditional, one-size-fits-all educational settings.

4) Christ-Centered Education

For families seeking a Christ-centered education, schools that integrate faith into the curriculum can provide a supportive and nurturing environment. These schools often emphasize values such as compassion, integrity, and respect, creating a positive and reassuring atmosphere for students.

Benefits Of Choosing The Right School

Here are some specific benefits that the right school choice can offer:

  • Personalized Learning Plans: Tailored education plans can address specific areas where a child might be struggling, thereby reducing academic-related anxiety.
  • Supportive Environment: A nurturing and inclusive environment can help students feel more comfortable and less anxious about social interactions.
  • Faith-Based Support: For those in a Christ-centered school, the integration of faith can offer spiritual support and a strong moral foundation, contributing to overall emotional well-being.
  • Strong Community: Being part of a close-knit community where students, teachers, and parents work together can foster a sense of belonging and security.

If your child is struggling with anxiety about school, taking proactive steps is essential. Understanding their concerns, providing support, and considering educational choices that cater to their needs can make a significant difference.

St. John Lutheran School In Defiance, OH

At St. John Lutheran School in Defiance, Ohio, we offer a supportive, Christ-centered educational environment with smaller class sizes and individualized attention. Our school is committed to providing a safe and nurturing space for students to thrive academically and emotionally.

Reach Out To Us Today For Help Enrolling In Our Supportive School Environment

If you believe that a more personalized and supportive educational environment could benefit your child, we invite you to contact us for more information about St. John Lutheran School. Our private school might be the right choice for your students if they are dealing with anxious feelings about school. 

Please reach out to us today to find out more about how our Christ-centered school can help your child thrive.