Child does not want to go to school

After two years gap owing to the COVID-19 pandemic, the schools have re-opened and children have started attending classes in person. Parents heaved a big sigh of relief for two reasons. One, children could now have proper education as it is meant to be for their development. Two, children could get off-screen time which was adversely impacting their vision and overall health.

Children were also initially excited to resume physical school. However, some children are finding it difficult to adapt back. Then, some pre-schoolers are experiencing physical school life and meeting their teachers for the first time in their life. Moreover, children are not anymore used to sitting long hours in class, taking down notes and writing or studying more than what they did in online classes. It is natural that children are struggling to adjust to some extent to the physical school environment.

Take the example of my daughter. She is studying in 7th standard and often complained in the first few days of starting school that she didn’t like to carry the school bag and felt exhausted after coming home. She could not connect immediately with her friends and felt that online classes were better than physical classes. Fortunately, she has fallen into a routine now and no longer feels anxious about her physical school.

If your child is going through back-to-school anxiety, here are some tips to help them cope with it:

  1. Start Positive Conversations

Talk to your child about all the good things about school. Remind them of the happy times they spent at school with their classmates and teachers before the pandemic. Tell them that they can now look forward to those times again when the schools have re-opened physically.

  1. Ask About Their Day at School

When your child returns home after school, ask them how their day was and what they did at school. Ask them what was good and bad about their day. This will help them to vent their frustration, if any and also bring to your notice their anxiety trigger points.

  1. Observe Their Actions and Behaviour

Observe closely if your child is doing or behaving anything differently after starting to go to the physical school. If you find something worrisome, it is your clue to talk to your child about it gently and by taking them into confidence to find the cause.

  1. Encourage Them to Make Friends

This is important, especially if your child has switched schools or their class division has changed in the school. Encourage them to talk to their classmates or spend lunchtime and free periods together. Your child can even get the contact number of their classmate and speak to them after school hours on phone to form a friendship. Talking to friends will release their anxiety to a significant extent.

  1. Speak to the Teacher

You can even speak to your child’s teacher about their anxiety. This will help the teacher to be more empathetic with your child in the class and inform you in case of any behavioural or emotional health issues.

Children are resilient by nature and they will adjust to the physical school in their own time. However, if your child’s back-to-school anxiety is becoming a concern for you, it is advisable to visit a child counsellor for professional help. The child counsellor will understand your child’s trigger points and recommend ways to deal with them.

About Smita Omar

Smita is an ex banker who voluntary said adiós to a high flying career to explore the rocky yet beautiful terrain of motherhood. When she is not busy juggling between her naughty daughter and foodie husband, you can find her donning the hat of a freelance content developer-editor to keep her sanity intact. She has been a Work-From-Home-Mother for 8 years and turns to meditation when the going gets tough.

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