A child who goes to school, first time or not, have concerns that adults do not readily see or understand. While there are children who are excited to go to school due to many reasons such as meeting new friends or being with old friends, using their new bags or shoes and new school supplies, there are children who seem to dread going to school.
Some parents or teachers think that the child might be experiencing separation anxiety. This can be true but there are other possible reasons for the anxiety. It is important to know these anxiety-producing factors that children face in school.
One is when a child faces a new situation, like if it is the first day of school, or when a child transfers to another school, he/she might feel nervous. What parents can do is to ready the child by telling them what to expect. It can help if you can tour the child to the new school and familiarize him/her to the surroundings. If they know what to expect, they experience less anxiety. Let the child adjust to the new situation. This will help him to be prepared with the new school environment she will be facing.
Another major anxiety of children is passing tests and examinations. The worry makes them unable to perform at their best a day or days before the exam. You can offer to help them in studying and reviewing their lessons. This can help boost their confidence and they feel prepared for the big day lessening the worries they feel.
Next is the children fear failures. They worry that they will not be able to cope with the stress and expectations in school and that they may lag behind their classmates. They feel that if this happens, they will be tagged as inferior or poor. Encourage the children and help them understand that everybody makes mistakes and committing mistakes is okay. Help them see mistakes as stumbling blocks for future success.
Supporting a child with the feelings and anxieties he/she goes through during school days can help him/her enjoy school more and perform better.
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Goleman, D. (2006), Social Intelligence: The New Science of Human Relationships
Lantieri, L. and Goleman, D. (2008), Building Emotional Intelligence: Techniques to Cultivate Inner Strength in Children