What makes you afraid of education?
In contrast to Fear of school the reasons lie with the School phobia not primarily in school, but there is one Separation anxiety underlying. Separation anxiety is understood to mean both a development phase typical for a certain age (e.g. the so-called eight-month anxiety) and a deviant behavior of a child from preschool age.
If developmental tasks such as increasing emotional independence and separation from parents, building friendships and partnerships as well as taking on personal responsibility and independence are not mastered, the early separation anxiety may persist. In all threshold situations (e.g. kindergarten, school enrollment, change of school and with the onset of puberty) separation fears can revive.
School phobia works on:
thoughts -I'd rather not go away. Who knows what will happen at home!
Behaviour- I do not go to school. I defend myself against it by all means.
the body-I have abdominal pain. I feel dizzy.
the emotions-I am worried about my mother, she needs me.
How can school phobia be triggered or intensified?
Conditions in the child or adolescent himself: The already established behavior of listening to oneself more closely and / or reacting more sensitively to conditions in the outside world than other children and adolescents can promote the development of a school phobia. It is not uncommon for children or adolescents to receive more attention from being ill, so that it can happen that the school phobia is unconsciously held onto.
Family conditions: Parents can be a model for their child if they are affected by unresolved experiences of fear and separation. Family conflict or crisis situations (e.g. divorce, death, illness in the family) can be stressful and contribute to the fearful concern for the family being carried over to the school.
Conditions in school: With classmates, pejorative remarks about the behavior (Mom's boy, mom's child) cause students to feel they don't belong. Worries and fears that students carry around with them are hidden from school or may be overlooked in school.
What can you do?
The first step is always a clear one diagnosis. This can be accompanied by the responsible school psychologist and prepared by extracurricular specialists (e.g. specialists in child and adolescent psychiatry, psychotherapists for children and adolescents), with teachers and counseling teachers providing additional help.
Then, depending on the cause, severity and level of suffering, different activities be seized:
- Accompanying (behavioral) therapy should be started by psychotherapists for children and adolescents. In the best case scenario, these cooperate with the school so that agreements can be made to support the child at school.
- Older children and young people should be supported in their development of autonomy. As a rule, they are up to the school requirements, but not the social challenges that school and class bring with them. They need support in setting themselves apart and asserting themselves against other children.
- Parents need support because the anxious looking children at school can get very angry and demanding at home when parents try to force them to go to school. This support can be provided by educational counseling centers, therapists and school social pedagogues or school social workers, if necessary.
- Teachers inform themselves e.g. B. in the context of further training in order to recognize the difference between school anxiety (primarily triggered by school) and school phobia (primarily triggered by a fear of separation from the family, which is carried over to school) and to be able to address the appropriate specialist staff.
- It is a relief for all those involved if they are not assigned to blame for the situation that has arisen.
Those who make the diagnosis can either help overcome the school phobia themselves or refer to other professionals. If the school phobia persists for a long time, a stay in a clinic for child and adolescent psychiatry or in a psychosomatic clinic that treats the fears of children and adolescents may be necessary.
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