School Refusal and Anxiety: Strategies for a Smooth Transition

Every parent and carer wants to see their child enjoy school and perform well in the classroom. It’s difficult, then, when a child is refusing to go to school and is exhibiting signs of school anxiety. As parents and carers, we only want the best for our children and this involves a strong school attendance.

How should we manage school refusal and anxiety, and what are some of the strategies to build a positive school experience?

Anglicare Victoria explains school refusal in this post, offering several strategies and resources to help children overcome school refusal and succeed in the classroom.

Root causes behind school refusal and anxiety

School refusal can be experienced by any child at any time. We’ve seen naturally academic students exhibit signs of school refusal, despite their excellence in it. This can happen quickly or gradually, at any age or year level.

There are several root causes behind a child’s school refusal. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Bullying
  • Peer conflict
  • Anxiety or stress
  • Learning difficulties
  • Moving homes
  • Family issues
  • Lack of confidence in the classroom

Addressing the root causes

In order to help a child experiencing school refusal or school anxiety, we must address the root causes. If a child is refusing school due to bullying, for example, this may involve getting the child to open up about their experiences with bullying, notifying teachers, sitting down with all parties and implementing a plan to curb this behaviour.

If a child has school anxiety because they’ve moved to a different school, this may involve asking their teacher to pair the child with a buddy, helping the child better integrate into their new school.

There are myriad reasons for school refusal and, thus, myriad avenues for finding the right solution to school anxiety and refusal.

Anglicare Victoria’s ParentZone

Anglicare Victoria runs several programs that are beneficial for children experiencing school refusal. Our Navigator program can help school-anxious children by supporting young people in their return to school.

Anglicare Victoria’s ParentZone program focusses on:

  • Improving communication between carers and children
  • Preparing parents to cope with all ages and stages of childhood
  • Learning strategies to positively shape and develop a child’s potential
  • Strengthening family relationships as a whole
  • Empowering children to manage their emotions
  • Fostering strong relationships while dealing with additional challenges such as disability, neurodivergence, loss, trauma, separation and divorce

If you’re a parent or carer with a child who’s experiencing school refusal or anxiety, Anglicare Victoria can help you. Our free-of-charge ParentZone program helps to strengthen relationships within the family and give parents the necessary tools to address complex issues like school refusal. Together, we can work towards long-lasting change and allow children to reach their full potential at school. Get in touch with Anglicare Victoria and enquire about the ParentZone program today.

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