How to help your child overcome school phobia? Here are some valuable tips.

Does your child refuse to go to school? His results are declining, but his absence is increasing? He or she has a school phobia, an anxiety disorder Increasingly widespread, affecting about 5% of students. But how can you help your child overcome this anxiety? Odile Mangadaran, president of the “Phoebe Scholar” Association, offers valuable advice to parents.

What is school phobia?

We also talk about school anxiety disorder, anxious school rejection or school denial behavior. But be careful, School phobia has nothing to do with skipping school. What makes it different? It is the great torment that accompanies her. Odile Mandagaran explains to POSITIVR that these are “It’s not crazy for kids who want to go to class but can’t. Absence and omission are only a consequence of the child’s discomfort.

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Today, 3 to 5% of young people suffer from severe forms of school phobia. Odile Mandagaran explained that, according to an American study, “28% of students will one day be more or less strongly affected by episodes of school anxiety disorder while attending school.”That is more than thatOne in four children. An anxious figure that shows the urge to act.

Contrary to popular belief, it is not so much the school that worries young people, but what happens inside or on the school. According to a survey by the National Institutes of Health and Medical Research (INSERM), One in two children with school phobia has already been harassed. This curse must be fought so the main reason for this instability.

“The pressure of results, overflowing classes, competition, graduate reform, parcourses … French students are in the top 3 among the most stressed young people in the world.”

What are the warning signs?

Not one, but there are several signs that parents need to challenge:

  • Physical symptoms : Abdominal pain, vomiting, insomnia, migraine, abdominal cramps, sore throat… which can be seen the day before or before school.
  • Absence of beads
  • Frequent visits to the infirmary
  • Behavioral changes at school or at home : Withdrawal, underestimation, aggression, eating disorder
  • Behaviors that put them at risk : Threats to flee, dark thoughts, stains …

The president of the “School Phobia” Association recalls that 9 out of 10 times, these warning signs fade or even disappear outside of school hours, and whenever you come back from vacation and reappear violently on Sunday evenings.

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Have more profiles at risk?

“Children with school phobias are usually Good or very good student. “They like to study, often showing more maturity than their peers, who are often more sensitive and anxious.” Odile refers to Mandagaran. This alarming school rejection affects all social classes of society, including both girls and boys.

But there really isn’t a risk profile, in reality, because there could be more than one:

  • Anxiety disorders
  • Performance concerns
  • Disorders of education, attention and autism spectrum : When left unmanaged, they can be left astray and lose the right path.
  • Emotional shock : Death or illness of a loved one, an animal, a serious family event, a move, can trigger school phobia.
  • Questions about gender / sexual orientation : Transcendence, homosexuality, etc.

A growing disease

Since the health crisis associated with Covid-19, France has experienced a sharp rise in school phobias, as Odil Mandagaran puts it: “Since the start of the school year in September, the association has welcomed 100 to 200 new families each week.”

“School institutions, deprived of the number of cases, often two in each class, come to us to find their solution. Child psychiatrists talk about an epidemic of school phobias, a therapeutic emergency.

Unfortunately, in recent months, even years of depressing news has not helped the situation. School phobia increases for several reasons:

  • A very sharp increase in harassmentOften not diminished or covered
  • An anxious social climate : Health Crisis and War in Ukraine
  • A school system that is getting worse by the day : Overload class, result stress, etc.
  • Teachers themselves are in trouble
  • An inclusive school that does not operate for lack of resources
  • Accommodation for children with disabilities is not respected : Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADD / H), etc.
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How to overcome school phobia?

The president of the “School Phobia” Association gives valuable advice to parents: Don’t blame. The most important thing is to keep the child in front of the student, listen to him and above all accompany him every day.

“In the best interest of the child, the priority is to keep him at the center of the problem so that he can go to a more quiet school. We speak of winning the Trio as a good constructive understanding of family, school and therapists.

If your child refuses to go to school for fear of what is waiting inside the institution, Don’t make the situation dramatic. It will take the risk of triggering “A Real Tsunami for the Family”. Odile Mandagaran even advises parents to lighten their child’s schooling, not to punish him for his absence, in other words, to be kind and understanding.

And of course, if your help isn’t enough to alleviate your child’s suffering, Contact a therapist. “The path can be long and winding, it is not important to forget yourself. Psychological help is often needed to stay on course. “

And for children, “Beloved, dare to talk to your parents! Believe in yourself, there is always a solution. There is not just a school career, there is a way and there is no failure, but experience that allows you to grow.”

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As a reminder, bullying at school is a curse in our society, but not inevitable. Here’s how to respond if your child is a victim.

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